Tristen Taylor remembers getting the call from his mother that would change the rest of his days in the Brock School District.
"I was sitting at home. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect," said Taylor, a senior offensive/defensive lineman.
It’s understandable. Two previous times folks had tried to get football into Brock’s curriculum and twice before they had failed.
And that was only the most recent attempts, which obviously finally passed. Years before, locals will tell you there was a school board that approved football, then those people were voted out and new ones put in who rescinded the decision.
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But make no mistake, football is here to stay at Brock, and several seniors on the current team are claiming ownership – at least in part – of its reality. They remember putting in the work to help make it come to life.
"We went around putting up all the yard signs, and it was heartbreaking when it didn’t pass the first two times," said Tucker Sargent, a senior offensive/defensive lineman.
"Now we’ve got the whole community behind us. I think 99 percent of those who didn’t want football are now cheering us on."
Winning does bring out a lot of followers – and just like every other program at Brock, the Eagles football team is winning. In their two seasons of UIL eligibility, they have won two district championships (in fact, they’re 10-0 in the league), and as of this printing they were 12-0 and ranked No. 2 in the state.
"We have a chance to set a tradition for Brock football," said senior offensive/defensive lineman Trace Humphries.
The Eagles played an outlaw schedule in 2012, going 8-2 with eight road games. Last season they played in their new stadium (which took four bond elections to get built), a place where they are a perfect 10-0.
In all, Brock football is 32-4 in its short history, including 5-1 in the postseason (as of this printing).
Their initial foray into UIL play was nothing short of magical, said fullback/defensive end Caden Fain.
"It was a wonderful time, letting everyone know what we’re made of," he said.
"We came from humble beginnings, and you don’t know what to expect," said senior quarterback Seth Boleman. "We had never done it before, never seen anyone do it, but we’re making it happen."
Chad Worrell, the only head coach the program has known, said he conducted an experiment shortly after taking the job.
"I asked how many had been to a varsity Friday night football game, and out of about 50 kids, only about five raised their hands," he said. "I said, ‘We’re going to fix that.’ We loaded them up on a bus and went to the Godley-Eastland game, two top-10 teams, and they got to see a great game and let it sink it what they would be doing themselves."
And now they are doing just that.
"These seniors, we’ve had them every day since seventh grade. There’s a bond with this group," Worrell said.
The first competitive season for this group was in the eighth grade. They went 7-2.
"It’s been five years that’s flown by," Worrell said. "I tell people I’m going to write a book someday about the process. It’s been a wave of emotions."
This current group of seniors, the founders of the program, even if they win state, have just a short time left in the program. That fact hasn’t escaped them.
"They (folks in the community) did this for us, gave us this opportunity, now all we want to do is succeed," Boleman said.
"We really just wanted to play football, and for most of us this is our last chance, so we want to keep playing as long as we can," said Taylor.
And if anyone is wondering what upcoming seasons may be like, the Brock junior varsity was 9-0 this season, the freshmen were 9-0-1, eighth grade was 9-0, and the seventh grade was 7-2. That’s 34-2-1 from the sub-varsity squads.
But whatever the future holds, there can always be only one first in anything. For these guys, they are the first when it comes to Brock football, and nothing can ever replace that.
"One of my favorite quotes is ‘Enjoy the process,’" Worrell said. "In this situation there’s been so much enjoyment from the process of building."