For a bunch of guys who don’t consider themselves artists, the Reicher parents who volunteer their time every week during the football season have racked up quite a few awards for their grass-roots murals.
Reicher has once again been chosen as one of Pioneer Athletics Fields of Excellence Award winners, celebrating the group’s efforts in painting the pitch at J.J. Kearns Stadium.
Volunteer leader Ed Braig joked about how this year’s design, which featured a giant cougar pawing at a globe with the words “Cougar” and “World” etched in the end zones, morphed into a Godzilla Cougar when wet turf marred the drawing of the cougar’s face. But the minor hiccup aside, Reicher’s latest award for field artistry kept up a proud tradition at the school.
Reicher has received the Fields of Excellence honor in all but one year since they began competing for it in 2004. The one year they didn’t win was only because they didn’t think they were allowed to enter after winning the previous year.
“Yes, it is a thrill, don’t get me wrong,” Braig said. “It’s a new group of some new people every year. We know we’re good because we go over the top.”
Each season, the Reicher field painters work up to a giant cougar logo that extends more than 240 feet from one 15-yard line to the other 20. They’ve painted it Reicher blue along with red, white and blue for Veterans Day. The giant logo has also featured the school’s official insignia within the mascot.
It all got started as a way to relieve some of the coaches’ duties.
“It began because, Wednesdays after practice, they cut practice short because the coaches had to go do the field,” Braig said. “The dads were in the stands already because they were dads. They said, ‘We can help you, coach.’ The next year they said, ‘We can just do that for you.’ The booster club came out for homecoming and put something special in the middle and we said, ‘We can do that for every game.’”
For fans, checking out the gridiron to see what the volunteers have painted has become part of the weekly football season ritual.
“Thursdays, when they come to school that next day, the football team, and even some kids that aren’t, will come over to the field to see what we did,” Braig said. “It became a tradition. That fuels the new dads.”
Bruceville-Eddy, Riesel looking for ADs
Bruceville-Eddy is getting close to hiring a new athletic director and head football coach to replace J.B. Chaney, who returned to Holland High School earlier this semester.
Superintendent Richard Kilgore said on Wednesday that the search committee has spoken with eight applicants and narrowed the list to four finalists. The Bruceville-Eddy school board will interview the four remaining candidates during a Thursday night session and could reach a decision by the end of the meeting.
Chaney, who compiled a 23-28 record in five seasons as the Eagles’ football coach, led Bruceville-Eddy to its first football playoff appearance since 1985 when the Eagles reached the postseason in 2017.
“It will be hard to replace Coach Chaney,” Kilgore said. “He did some special and unique things here. But we think we’ve got some good candidates.”
While Bruceville-Eddy is nearing the end of its AD/football coach search, Riesel is just getting started.
Former Riesel coach Robert Little was named as Taylor’s new athletic director and head football coach on Monday. That leaves quite a void after Little guided the Indians to a 10-3 record and the third round of the playoffs last season.
“It’s hard to replace a Robert Little,” Riesel principal Brandon Cope said. “He’s a great coach and a great guy.“
Little went 22-13 in three seasons at Riesel. Cope said the football team’s success imparted a winning attitude throughout the athletic program.
“This is a good job,” Cope said. “You can win at Riesel ISD. In small schools, winning breeds winning.”
The Riesel principal said the athletic director/head football coach job has been posted and will remain so until April 24 or 25. The school has already received multiple applications for the position.
Crawford assistant wins TABC award
Crawford girls’ basketball assistant coach Heidi Elmore was honored last week as the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 2A Girls’ Assistant of the Year.
It’s Elmore’s first time winning the award, but Lady Pirates head coach Brandon Ely, who nominated his assistant, said she could have won it every year.
“She has the same traits that a lot of great coaches have,” Ely said. “She’s a great teacher in the classroom and on the court. She cares about the details. She does not accept less than your best attempt. And she lets the kids know that she loves them. “
Along with serving as the Crawford varsity girls’ basketball assistant, Elmore coaches the JV girls’ basketball team and is an assistant track coach.
3 China Spring diamond athletes sign
A trio of China Spring athletes signed on the dotted line, making their college choices official on Wednesday.
Lady Cougars shorstop Macie Reeves signed with Ranger College. China Spring baseball pitcher-catcher-infielder Jaxson Pitts signed with Stephen F. Austin, and infielder-outfielder Payton Spell signed with Temple College.