Growing up in Lindale, my dad would take the family out to watch the Lindale Eagles high school football team play every home game to support our team. We didn’t have any family or know anyone on the team, but every home game we were there, and every away game, dad and I were glued to KLTV channel 7 at 11 p.m. to watch the results as they flowed across the screen.
Granted it was a high school and not a college or professional team playing, but that didn’t matter; because the stadium was always packed, and the team was always supported, even when it wasn’t competing well.
My dad grew up the son of a high school football coach, and he himself played linebacker for the team, so my dad grew up knowing how community involvement directly tied into the life of a program.
With that in mind I have to admit, with reluctance, that I didn’t continue that tradition in most of my years at A&M-Commerce.
It wasn’t really that we didn’t have a good team (although that didn’t help) because that never stopped us from attending Lindale football games, it was because I got caught up in a sick sense of pride that went around the school that said it was cool to not have school spirit. The funny thing was that most of the people I knew like that would always complain about the lack thereof.
That is dead now.
After hearing coach Colby Carthel’s strict workout regiment, and seeing how tough practices are, I was reminded of stories my dad would tell of my late grandad’s grueling practices in the hot Harlingen sun, which resembled that of his personal friend, former Alabama and A&M football coach Bear Bryant.
When I see new programs coming to Commerce, an athletic director and coach who mean business, and a focused attention to the rebuilding of a once great football program, my old school spirit is renewed.
I now look forward to the afternoon tailgating, a crowded Memorial Stadium and the roar of the crowd as we cheer on our hometown football team. To echo President Dan Jones, it’s a great day to be a Lion!
Joseph Hamrick can be reached at JHamrick@Heraldbanner.com or on his Twitter page at @HB_JHamrick.