Moving to small town Texas has been eye-opening for me in many ways, but especially when it comes to school spirit and supporting sports teams at the school. Texas has independent school districts (unlike Florida), so each town has their own schools. Our elementary, junior high, high school and administrative buildings are all on the same property. Our youth group is made up of one school...Hughes Springs. So, everyone in Hughes Springs supports the Hughes Springs Mustangs. On any given Friday night in the fall, you will find most of the town at the football game. And even though the regular season for 2012 is over, you will still find most of the town at a football game on Friday nights because we are on the road to STATE! That's right, our Mighty Mustangs are in the 3rd round of the playoffs right now. If we win two more games, we'll head to the State Championship at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas. Do you know what my 3-year-old would do if he got to go to a football game at Cowboy Stadium?! Oh my...just thinking about it gets me excited! I know, I know. One game at a time. But still!
We didn't make a lot of their regular season games this year, but once the guys made it to the playoffs, Daniel and I pretty much had an unspoken agreement that we'd go to as many playoff games as they played...no matter where they were held. So far we've traveled down to Nacogdoches (about 2 hours away) 2 weeks ago, and then a small town outside of Tyler (an hour and a half away) this past week. In 2 days (Saturday), we'll go to Longview (just 45 minutes away - yay!) for their next game. The team we play Saturday night we've already beaten once this season, so we're praying it will happen again! Many of our youth are on the team, and several of the coaches are members of our church. It has been such a joy to watch both groups give glory to God and be very open about their faith throughout the season.
Before the team leaves town headed to the different games, there's always a send-off where people can come and show their support. Here's the first play-off game send-off where I grabbed a pic with my favorite cheerleader, and sweet friend, Halie.
Riley went with me to the send-off, and he was in awe as the football players walked by. He would give anything right now to be on the Mustang football team. :)
The first play-off game was held at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, and we played the Hearne Eagles.
Within the first 50 seconds, we made a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
It was cold that night, and bad mama forgot Riley's gloves, so he just decided to wear mine. :)
Our little Mustang
His sweet friend Abigail moved away a little over a month ago, but she and her daddy came to the game. Riley was so glad to see her, and they had a blast playing together.
"Mama, they're winning by a lot...do we really have to stay until the end?"
Some of my favorite people...Kevin & Cara Carrington. They got married this past May. Daniel performed the ceremony, and we did their premarital counseling. Love them!
And the final score...
Fun night, but we were definitely ready to get in the car and get warm!
Playoff game #2: Mustangs vs. Centerville Tigers in Whitehouse, TX
Look at that moon!
This game was much more challenging than the week before.
"Do we have to take a picture, mama?" Yes, son, yes we do! :)
Love them! Don't worry, we didn't just leave Ella at home to fend for herself. :) (Although, that is what my hubby told several people when they asked about her.) My parents were in town for both games, so they played with lil' bit. This weekend, my awesome m-i-l is coming just to watch Ella so we can go to the game!
This was the last shot I got at the game because it was a very intense, down-to-the-second (literally!) kind of game. In fact, we went into overtime tied at 21. It was really late by then, and we still had to drive home, so we headed to the car when overtime started. However, we could still hear the game, so when Hughes Springs scored a touchdown in OT, we decided we had to stay and hear how the game ended. Amazingly, after Centerville scored a TD making it 28-27, their kicker missed the field goal and we WON!
Saturday night there will be a Mustang stampede heading down to Longview to take on the Elysian Fields Yellow jackets! Praying for a well-played, safe game in which the Mustangs dominate! So proud of our boys! Can't wait to see them in action again AND looking forward to watching our small town rally around them once again as they take the field!
So maybe small towns aren't so bad after all... :)