Even if the season didn’t go as well as hoped, the 2013 Waxahachie football team found plenty to celebrate at its 59th annual awards banquet.
The tradition continued Thursday night at the Waxahachie Civic Center as Team 109 was honored by family, friends, coaches and the community. The team and guests were once again generously fed thanks to the First Baptist Church and Chicken Express.
There ceremony started with the recognition of the Indians’ coach, David Ream. He celebrated his 100th win during the season with Waxahachie knocked off Ellis County rival Red Oak. He was presented with the game ball from that game by new superintendent Jeremy Glenn and long-time assistant coach Terry Minton.
“He’s a man that you want leading you, but also a man you want to walk beside,” Minton said of Ream.
This year’s keynote speaker was Randall Harris, a three-time world and four-time national powerlifter. He can squat more than 900 pounds. He played football at the University of North Texas and related the sport to life.
“What I love about football is that you get another chance after every play. That’s why you get four downs,” Harris said. “If you did great last time, keep doing great. If not, you have another chance. You have to have a short memory and forget about when you mess up.”
While his body is strong, he considers his faith equally powerful and wants everyone to know how hard it is to chase your goals.
When you make a change, you have to make it in your mind,” Harris said. “In football, the goal and dream is to win a championship. In life, you have other goals and dreams. You have to go for them.”
The first award given out was the Dr. Dave Williams Memorial Award and Scholarship to the year’s top athletic trainer. This year’s winner was Gabby Arteaga.
“She’s the kind of person that goes above and beyond for others,” Waxahachie head athletic trainer Doc Bowdoin said. “I don’t know if I’ve met someone who cares more about others than her.”
Each player on each of the freshmen, JV and varsity teams were introduced.
The JV team finished the year 6-4, but coach Joe Volentine knows it played better than the record shows.
“The JV guys worked their tails off not only getting better, but helping the varsity team get better,” Volentine said. “Things didn’t always go their way, but they were in every game.”
Ream then introduced his non-senior varsity players, who went 2-7 this season.
“We have a very talented group and we will have a lot of experience coming back,” Ream said. “We are working hard this offseason to learn some of the leadership traits that our seniors are going to pass on.”
He then introduced his seniors, which is always the toughest group to say goodbye to. Ream gives them a ton of credit for continuing to show up and put in work even though the season was a tough one.
“We had practice every Saturday morning and they picked things up and worked things out. On Mondays they showed up with great attitude and picked up the coaching staff,” Ream said. “We didn’t have some good luck, but we had some great character.”
Then it was time for the individual awards and recognitions. Payton Stewart won the Most Dedicated Indian award.
“He goes above and beyond to motivate his team even though the season was tough,” Waxahachie strength and powerlifting coach Rocky Robinson said. “He has shown hard work and dedication to both football and powerlifting.”
The two awards named after great Indians, the Jerry McLeMore Head Hunter Award and the Billy Bates Academic Achievement Award, went to Greg Anderson and Braden Henry, respectively.
The Outstanding Leadership Award went to Adrian Zavala. His offensive line mate, Patrick Lawrence, won the Unsung Hero Outstanding Lineman award.
“He moved from tight end to tackle and didn’t bat an eye when the coaches asked him to,” Waxahachie coach Jim Miller said of Lawrence.
The Savage Club Award winner was punter and kicker Clay Mullens. The Outstanding Special Teams Player Award went to long snapper Tanner Osmer.
The Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award went to Timothy Crownover.
“The worst thing about him is that he’s a senior because he really started to come on,” Waxahachie defensive coordinator Greg Reed said. “We had to move him around and he had a fantastic season.”
The Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year Award went to Isiah Parrish.
The final individual award was the team Most Valuable Player and that went to Zavala.
“Coaching him since junior high was probably my five best years of my coaching life,” Minton said.
The fans, players and coaches then recognized the team’s captains for the season, Chris Clark, Lawrence, Parrish and Zavala for the effort they took to be leaders this year.
See pictures of all the award winners on Page 1C.
The Waxahachie coaching staff and players always wanted to thank Tina Cobb and the rest of the Quarterback Club because the banquet wouldn’t have been possible without their tireless effort.