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Football Playoffs and the Season of Exuberance

Monday 04 December 2017 at 7:53 pm.

This article by Ray Spitzenberger first appeared in IMAGES for November 30, 2017, East Bernard Express, East Bernard, Texas.

            For many years now, folks in East Bernard have associated the exciting expectancy of the Thanksgiving-Christmas season with the exuberance of high school football playoffs, and this year is no exception.

            The exuberance already began before the playoffs, with East Bernard winning 70 to 0 over Bloomington, 83 to 24 over Danbury, 62 to 7 over Brazos, 62 to 0 over Schulenburg, and 48 to 12 over Van Vleck. These big wins suggested to Brahma fans that our team would be in the playoffs. Of course, the 21 to 3 win over Boling was not as spectacular, nor was the 15 to 6 win over Hitchcock. And the 29 to 22 win over Edna might have curtailed rousing exuberance, as did the 11 to 14 loss to Tidehaven. But in the end, East Bernard marched on into the playoffs.

            The playoffs really brought back some of that exhilarated Championship expectancy with the Brahmas’ 63 to 21 win over Johnson City, and their 61 to 0 win over London. The Thanksgiving-Christmas season of exuberant joy took on new life, as it seems the Brahmas were now soaring through the playoffs. However, this Friday night, they will again play Boling, and in contrast to these other scores, we remember that our team beat Boling a mere 21 to 3. So I know the coaches are busy keeping any cocky feelings among the player in tow.

            I remember back in my school days in Giddings High School how the coaches spent a lot of effort keeping the players humble on their way to the State Championship. Giddings, like East Bernard, has always produced winning teams, and, also, like East Bernard, has always been supported by loyal, enthusiastic townspeople.

            This year, however, was not Giddings’ year to shine, as they lost early on. My cousins back in Lee County are avid football supporters of the local teams. The only two towns in Lee County that actually have football teams are Giddings and Lexington. Dime Box has good basketball teams but doesn’t compete in football. Since Giddings in not in the countdown to the State Championship, Lee County folks are all focusing their attention on the Lexington Eagles, who won their playoff game last Friday night and are up and at ‘em this week. My great grandparents lived in Lexington, and I still have a cousin or two or three living there, so I enjoy keeping up with the Lexington Eagles. Since they beat Brazos in the playoffs, I’m thinking East Bernard might see them later.

            My friends know that as an artist and a poet, I have never been a super fan of any of the sports, a fact that made me somewhat unpopular when serving on the School Board. But I do care about and support the Brahmas, and though I can’t attend the games, I follow them every week, and actually find myself getting excited like the rest of the folks in town. By no means am I an expert on the game of football, and so I write about the playoffs very timidly, hoping that the pigskin experts don’t call me down on some bad sports writing. If you find anything too ridiculous in this column, just toss it off as arty eccentricity!

            Friday night’s game means a lot to the young people in our town, especially to the seniors, and I have a great deal of respect for their hopeful feelings. I know that the people of East Bernard will support the team in great numbers as they always have. When I was teaching at Bellville High School in the 1950’s, almost the entire town took a train and traveled to the State Championship game! What an exciting year that was!

            As the coaches and the players prepare for Friday night’s game, I don’t want to mention any East Bernard players by name, as I remember the Bellville coach emphasizing the oneness of the team, the team spirit being an important factor in achieving victory, and the Bellville team had some real stars, -- Joe Ed Lynn, Delton Fick, and Ernie Koy, Jr. (who went on to play pro football), just to mention a few. Liking one another and playing together like brothers will take a team a long way, because nothing succeeds without teamwork.

            The big game will be played Friday night at 7 p.m. in Traylor Stadium in Rosenberg.


Ray Spitzenberger is a free-lance writer and artist who lives in East Bernard with his beautiful wife Peggy and spoiled cat Gatsby.

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