Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

December 13, 2012

Wills: Destiny calls for Mildred

Eagles expected to be back in state semifinals

MILDRED — — MILDRED — Patrick Harvell has reminded his football team several times this week that he expected the Mildred Eagles to be in this position, with another chance to play for a state championship.

Actually, he reminded the Eagles of that notion a year ago almost to this day, in Mansfield after Mildred’s season stalled in the Class 2A DII state semifinals with a gut-wrenching 35-28 loss to Cisco.

Mildred’s most successful coach in school history wanted his team to know that the expectation was that the Eagles would be back, on the doorstep, of the state finals and Cowboys Stadium.

There’s no word if it was a Bum Phillips-like speech — with his famous “next year we’re gonna kick the door down” message to Houston Oilers fans after getting eliminated by the Steelers in the 1979 AFC Championship Game (actually Phillips’ speech had profanity, but we won’t go there).

Harvell probably didn’t have the same brashness 15 minutes after a tough loss to Cisco. Chances are that talk was more subdued.

But it appears he got his message across to those returning players that night in Mansfield because here the Eagles are, presented with a second chance.

If it feels like this is meant to be, it’s probably because it is.

“We walked off the field on Dec. 10 last year and I brought the kids together one last time,” Harvell said. “And I talked about how I fully expected us to be back. I told them it would take hard work in the offseason. Look at how we’ve worked hard as a team. They’ve done a great job.”

Harvell is a smart guy. One area counterpart this week called him an “unbelievable coach.”

But let’s go back to smart.

Harvell knew he had the crucial player returning, his quarterback Nic Shimonek, who should go over 8,000 yards Friday night against Sonora. There would be no breaking in a new offensive leader during the ofseason.

Harvell also had running back Draylon Sterling. Jeremy Ballard. Noah Pennell. Thomas Finigmow. Mikey Muncy. His coaching staff was intact (the Eagles did lose offensive coordinator Kevin Morton to a head coaching job in Normangee).

All the key components were in place for another deep playoff run.

Harvell also knew he had more than just a talented roster. He knew he would have a hungry team.

One that tasted big-time postseason success last fall. One that came so close, with the ball in their hands driving for a game-tying touchdown in the final seconds against Cisco.

Nothing is more motivating than falling just short of your dream. Nothing is more motivating than getting a second chance.

“Knowing that feeling of how it felt when we lost,” Shimonek said. “We’re a lot more hungry. No one wants that feeling again.”

The Eagles’ team I saw Tuesday at practice acted like it’s been here before. It was a crisp workout. As Raymond documented in a story in Thursday’s paper, the Eagles were loose. They were chatty.

They had the look of a team ready for this moment.

Talking to a group of players after practice in the weight room, it was easy to see that this team is ready.  And they’re confident, because they’ve been on this stage before and they know that they’re capable of taking the next step.

The championship step.

Next stop Arlington.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 7-30-14 Davis.jpg Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech

    Keith Davis believes in dreams.
    He lived his.
    That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30 web Wortham TTBA picture.jpg TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament

    The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29-14 tiger sharks.jpg Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet

    There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-27 Shimonek all-star.jpg Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech

    Former Mildred quarterback and Golden Circle Del Thrash Player of the Year Nic Shimonek is leaving the University of Iowa after one red-shirt year and transferring to Texas Tech because of Iowa's pro-style offense.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan; Remembering House and a better era

    The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
    In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • weights.jpg GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win

    His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
    “I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Reese mug.jpg Outdoors: Kevin Reese: Summer time means summer tracking

    With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
    Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team

    Corsicana junior Brady Harlan and sophomore Layton Wolver were honored on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 4A All-State Baseball team that was announced Tuesday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 Kayana.jpg Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne

    Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
    Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
    More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced

    The Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 3A All-State Baseball Team was announced Tuesday.

     

    July 22, 2014