Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 29, 2012

Wills: Football season, the gift that keeps on giving

By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun

FROST— —  Something hit me on a brisk afternoon in Frost on Tuesday.

This is really cool, watching the Polar Bears practicing for a post-Thanksgiving playoff game.

It hit me again Wednesday when one of my favorite Whataburger morning patrons, Jim Bronstad, asked me if I was covering Mildred or Frost on Friday night.

“Frost,” I said. “We have someone who covers Mildred games,” which Jim of course knew. That’s publisher Raymond Linex, who’s covered the Eagles since like 1955 or something.

And the thought struck me — I haven’t been to a Mildred playoff game since the 2010 season.

That speaks to how memorable these last two football seasons have been in the Golden Circle. If I’m not there, someone else is still playing because we’ve got Raymond to take care of the Eagles.

Last season it was Corsicana, which matched Mildred in making it to the state semifinals.

This year it’s the best of all stories, the Frost Polar Bears, playing in Round 3.

Not surprising because it wasn’t expected that Frost would make the playoffs. The Bears were picked to make it.

Just because no one I talked to last week thought the Bears had much of a chance to beat Chilton.

Well they did.

How did it happen? This Frost team reminds me a lot of last year’s Tigers.

The Polar Bears have a group of seniors that play with passion and desire (sorry I’ve heard Art Briles say this so much I can’t stop typing it).

The Bears play with poise. Four penalties a game. At best a turnover a game. Execution. Precision. It’s fun to watch.

And the underdog is the defense. Frost gave up 52 points to Chilton in a district loss last season. They gave up 12 points last week.

The Bears had a personal foul last week, and it was an awful call. The players respect the game, their teammates, their coaches, just like the Tigers of last year did.

It’s brought back a lot of memories from last season. Last Friday night, I was overwhelmed with excitement for the game, just like I was when Corsicana beat Kilgore in the state quarterfinals.

Just like I was hearing that Mildred had won yet again.

Will I see a Mildred playoff game this season?

In a way, I hope I don’t. Because it means Frost is playing another game.

If I do, I look forward to seeing the same passion for the game, because what Patrick Harvell has done these last two seasons, playing past Thanksgiving for the second straight time?

That’s the kind of stuff that makes you a coaching legend.

See you under the Friday Night Lights.