WACO, TX — From the beginning, Bishop Louis Reicher Football fans were excited for the season, even though no one knew what to expect.
Ed Braig decided to add a special touch to Reicher’s home field this year to celebrate the team while encouraging safe practices.
“Beginning of the school year, they posted on the door, "You must wear a mask to enter this building." They had a mask on the Cougar and that’s all it took. I looked at the picture and said "If we put a mask on the Cougar... we are done,"” said Braig, the field designer for Bishop Louis Reicher Football.
After a roller coaster start to the season due to COVID-19, the Cougars went from a three game losing streak to a five game win streak with a 6-4 record.
Through it all, Cougar Nation cheered them on every step of the way.
“This is a really special community. Ed Braig has kinda headed up the field crew for a long period of time, and now it’s a group of dads that come out every Wednesday night and start painting the field. A lot of them, their kids have been out of school for 10 plus years,” said the Bishop Louis Reicher Cougar's Head Football Coach, Tyler Holcomb.
“We take great pride in it. The players take great pride in it. My son, who is on the football team, always asks when I get home Wednesday night, "What’s on the field? What does it look like?" They have a sense of pride. They want to play on that field,” said Jason Darling, father of player Jace Darling.
The journey has come full circle for Michael Schornack, Rodney Duron, and Jason Darling. The three played together on the 1991 team, leading Reicher all the way to the state semifinals, and now they’re on the field team.
This season, they will get to watch their three sons compete for the TAPPS Division 4 State Championship.
“The fact that my son is going to get to do it with my very best friend’s son, and a lot of other friends and family. My brother is flying in from Birmingham, Alabama. We will have people coming from all over the place to come support these kids,” said Michael Schornack, father of player Newt Schornack.
“Family. That is what’s most important, and there is nothing like getting family together for one cause and winning state,” said Rodney Duron, father of player Freddy Duron.
Whether it be parents, staff, or local high school football fans, the Bishop Louis Reicher Cougars will have a whole community rallying around them as they hope to snag their first state title since 2009.
"I’m still here because of the kids. That’s all there is. But yeah... Cougar Nation. It’s real,” said Braig.
Bishop Louis Reicher will take on Shiner St. Paul at noon on Saturday, December 12 at the Midway Panther Stadium.