Twas many years ago, in a country far, far away, when against all odds a lowly shepherd boy slayed the giant. On September 15, the varsity football team faced similar odds at Lake Travis. Unfortunately, no such luck befell the Rangers in Austin last week. However, the Rangers lost to the Lake Travis Cavaliers, a team with multiple state titles, with a final score of 45-64.
Head Coach, Brandon Hickman, commented before the game, “Lake Travis has a lot of tradition and has won a few State Championships. They have some good players and their staff does a great job. It will be a fun and exciting challenge for our team. I also like that we are travelling down to Austin being with the boys outside of school which will help us develop more chemistry as a team.”
The team headed down to Austin Thursday night, followed by practice at dawn and a game the next day. “The trip to Austin was great,” commented senior line backer Holden Hill. “We got closer as a team, and we had a great chance to get ready for the game on Friday night.”
It was a “great experience with our players being able to spend quality time with them off the field and outside of Jesuit,” agreed Hickman. “I felt like our team grew stronger together. We have a great group of kids on our team. It makes you feel good as a coach hearing compliments from people at our hotel or a waitress at a restaurant on how respectful our players are. They take pride in representing Jesuit everywhere they go.”
Game time was drawing closer.
The seats on both sides of Cavalier Stadium were beginning to fill up.
The Rangers, clad in blue in gold, carrying the cross of Jesuit on their helmets rushed onto the field.
“We were hanging with Lake Travis really well,” began Hill. “We even were ahead in the first quarter, but some [errors made by our] Special Teams and [fumbles] on a couple of plays gave them the opportunity they needed to jump ahead.”
Spectator Chase Sims ’19 agreed: “They can improve by working more on kickoff defense, there were [at] many times large openings for the returner to get through.”
Despite these mishaps, the team persevered to the end. Defensive lineman Will Woodard ’19 commented “the whole team showed great spirit throughout the game and never gave up.”
“The highlight for me was being connected to the team and playing with enthusiasm together,” continued Woodard. “I believe this year’s team has a chance to be great, as long as we are able to work together, communicate, and begin functioning as a single unit.”
“I thought our kids fought hard we just came up short,” said Hickman. “I have to give Lake Travis credit they have an excellent team, staff, and great tradition. This game made us stronger and we saw some guys really step up in a playoff environment. We played the two best 6A teams in Texas and competed very well until the end. Things have been moving very fast the last few weeks and our players have stepped up,” he explained. “Don’t let our 0-3 record fool you! We’ve played 2 former state champions taking one to the wire and the other was a 2 possession game in the middle of the 4th quarter.”
“The off week comes at a great time for us. We can get a few guys healed up and go back to the basics and start game planning for our district opener with Coppell. Our seniors will be on Community Days so they will be able to recharge and come back re energized. Our staff will work with our younger players during this time and also give those guys a day off to re-charge,” Hickman noted.
“We will be prepared and ready when we take the field in two weeks against Coppell,” Hickman concluded. “It should be an exciting game and the kids are looking forward to competing at a high level.”