By Allison Paxson
Tyler Lee High School
The 5A side of Tyler stood idle this week. Bye week took place of the hustle and bustle of game day, and everyone involved with Lee football felt misplaced. The week seemed to drag endlessly; free time became a temporary addition to my vocabulary, and I did not attend a game where I was stressed out about winning. I must say, it was somewhat nice! Of course with the exception of no game on Friday, that part is definitely not something I wish to continue. Bye week is always a strange thought, because you really just can’t help but see that sometime in the upcoming future that will be you forever. There are only so many Friday nights that you get in your lifetime, and unfortunately, if you blink, they’re all gone forever. As the popular movie quote from Friday Night Lights would say “after this, it’s just babies and memories”.
Even though I personally did not have to be at a game on Friday night, I took the 2 hour and 11 minute drive down to Celina, Texas to watch one of the most successful football programs in Texas take on Carrollton Ranchview in the District 10-3A competition. Celina is possibly one of the most alive atmospheres in the state, and they bring something different to the table that I just can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it is the movie based on their team, the record eight state championship titles, or even a 68 game winning streak; oh and let’s not forget to mention the popular “Boys of Fall” music video that Celina is spotlighted multiple times in.
Attending the Celina game was not exactly a random choice for me. If it had not been for being involved in Texas high school football for so long, I probably wouldn’t even know what Celina was. This story of why I chose to be there this week is probably my favorite one because it shows how much of a somewhat family we all are across the state. Nathan Elliott; an impressive 2015 quarterback from Celina holding offers from North Carolina and Army. That is the reason I drove 2 hours and 11 minutes to watch a school that I have no association with, play. If it hadn’t been for me knowing a lot about random schools, their players, and a Twitter direct message last football season, I definitely would not have spent my bye week outside of Tyler. A few conversations led to an unlikely friendship with a 2015 quarterback across the state, most of those containing potential playbook material including the updated version of the triple pass play option, “THE Quadruple Pass Run Option”.
Both being involved in football season, when bye week rolled around, it made sense to go ahead and drive on over to Celina to support Nathan and the rest of the Bobcats. The point of this story is really just the relationships you build with people who live hours away and do not go to your school through a simple game. At the end of the day, every coach, player, fan, trainer, or even announcer is involved in something bigger than themselves. A “family “that is somewhat picked at random. Maybe you met them at a visit, or a college game, or you were at their state game. The situation still stands at the fact that you probably still keep in touch with the guys you meet and you are there for them if they need it. When it comes to the players, in my opinion, ya’ll must remember that you are all going through the same pressures of being recruited and keeping grades up, plus a social life, plus practice, plus giving your all. Sometimes these kids across the state are really the people you should stay close with, just because they get it when someone else does not.
Being at Celina reminds me of the epitome of Texas High School Football. It’s almost like the town revolves around the team, and when the team wins, so do they. I think a player has to dream about playing for a team with a town like that. The support and the feel were absolutely insane. I could not have chosen a better way to spend my Friday off. Congratulations to the Bobcats on starting off district with a substantial win over Ranchview! Best of luck to all of you on the rest of your season! Can’t wait to make an appearance at another game! Keep the impeccable momentum up!
Finally, bye week has passed Tyler Lee, and up next for the Red Raiders will be Rockwall at Wilkerson- Sanders Memorial Stadium in Rockwall. This game is crucial for Lee as they are still looking for their first district win, also standing at 3-3, a win this week is necessary to keep the winning record momentum going. The last thing any team needs to do in the competition for a playoff spot is defeat themselves. There should be some surprises going on this week! I cannot wait to see what they do with the opportunity! Good luck to everyone around the state! Keep pushing hard and start clinching some playoff spots!! STAY SAFE, make smart hits, and remember to make the most of every single moment; you never know when this can all be over. Believe you can do it and you’re already halfway there.