By Allison Paxson
Tyler Lee High School

There’s a story I recall my grandfather telling me as a little girl many year ago. A story of the way to not only to think, but to play; Mister Darrell K. Royal’s to be exact. Darrell’s most influential accomplishment would have to be taking the University of Texas, a 1-9 team, and turning them into National Champions. My Grandfather always told me that maybe it was not Coach Royal’s ability to call plays or the talent of his players, but the combined determination that showed on the field. One of the most famous “Royalisms” ever said happens to be “God gives talent, size, and speed. But a guy can control how hard he tries.” The truth is, sometimes you can be doing everything perfectly, but that is not the factor that puts a point in the win column. The factor is giving everything. All it truly takes is all you truly have. Coming off a bye week, the Red Raider took on Rockwall in the district 12-5A competition. Putting everything on the table, Tyler Lee fell short to Rockwall 33-43.

It was almost like a barrier kept Lee from pushing forward. Four unexpected either fumbles or interceptions and then no result from the Offense. Or even a touchdown by the offense and then a huge gain by Rockwall. Everything good was offset by something bad, and no momentum had a chance at rolling. It was as if we were meant to go out there and fall short. Let me say one thing. Desire is not something missing. The 2014 class has done an excellent job at keeping that up. The seniors WANT to be better. They WANT to not accept average. They WANT to end their football seasons on a high note that will put the rough past few years behind them. It’s easy to want, and it’s hard to do. Accomplishing the “do” is a team effort.

Here at Tyler Lee, we seem to be having “The Year of the Collar Bone”. This week marked the fourth broken collar bone between Varsity and Under Squad of the season. This injury is very common in a football setting. As we all know, players are taught to not hit with their head in any way, so what do they do? Naturally, players lean in with their shoulder to hit, creating the perfect positioning for a break. I am pleased and relieved to say we really had no major injury on Friday night. Im crossing my fingers that the luck of that will continue!

It is said that first you fall, and then you fly. I’d be lying right now if I said that the quote didn’t sound a little distant. Personally being with these boys on a daily basis, I can see that they are all beyond tired of falling. I think when you start to see obstacles; you lose sight of dreams and goals. With three games left, the Raiders have to win out to be guaranteed a playoff spot. This creates an unbelievable pressure. As if there wasn’t any before, pressure will be at an all time high to go out there and make the most of it, make plays, and make playoffs for the first time in what feels like forever. We must prepare for the challenge and realize that we cannot get back the games that we lost, but we can make the upcoming games our own. WE control our destiny, not anyone else. It is in the boys’ hands to see who truly wants this the most, because in this playoff race, anything is possible and that is what it will boil down to; the will to win.

Let me just take a moment to address one thing that I’ve particularly noticed this season; running up the score. I respect the simple idea of being better than a team, but is scoring over 80 points more than them really proving anything about you? Class needs to make a graceful re entrance in every game. All that running the score up really does is state that you can really beat a team that isn’t as good as you this season. Keep these scores respectable!

Up next for the Raiders will be Mesquite at Rose Stadium in Tyler. A win here is crucial to keep Tyler Lee in the running for a playoff spot. Good luck to everyone around the state! Make it a point to go do something you cannot forget. Prove to someone you are worth a second look. Play for yourself and your teammates, and never forget that every time you touch the field, it may be your last. Don’t settle for anything less than you believe you deserve. Make it worth it. Live every moment this week and be able to say “I owned every second that this world could give”. Take that jump and don’t fear the fall- believe you have it.