The Red Oak Hawks defeated the Ennis Lions Friday, Nov. 2, to clinch a spot in the UIL playoffs for the first time since 1984, but the taste of sweet victory is still soaring high in the air among fans.
The Hawks are continuing their momentum with a 35-34 win over Corsicana Friday, a win that secures the team second place in the district.
Everyone is in high spirits, even people living outside of the city limits.
“I’m very excited for the football team and the city and I’m just tickled to death,” said Ben Beveras of Waxahachie. “Sometime it’s just that team’s time and this is Red Oak’s time. I’m very happy for the guys and may God bless them all.”
“I think it’s great for the city of Red Oak,” said Marlen Ream of DeSoto. “But it’s always great to see someone advance to the playoffs. I’m very happy for them.”
The community support is far from dying down as the Hawks prepare for Friday’s playoff game.
“I’m very excited that we are going to the playoffs and beating Ennis is even better because they usually slaughter us,” said Sarah Aud, a senior band member. “I just can’t believe that we beat them (Ennis) at their homecoming and on their home field.”
“This is big for Red Oak and we’re very excited that they (the team) clinched us a place in the playoffs,” said parent Donna Aud. “And Coach Shields also gets a lot of credit from everyone. I remember asking one player if he’d played football before and he said, ‘yes.’ I then asked him what makes this year any different than other years he’d played and he simply replied, ‘The head coach.’”
“I think it’s amazing and I’m very proud of them,” said Kelsey Chase, chamber administrative assistant. “I think they’re doing an awesome job and the city is just really proud of them. We’d even sent out e-mails to everyone to remind them to wear their maroon and white that night, and to also show their marquees in ways of showing support.”
Sure, the support is firmly grounded in the community, but it is just the same from the school district’s standpoint.
“We have a great group of coaches that set high expectations and we also have a group of great young men,” said ROISD superintendent of schools Scott Niven. “In my opinion, this is only the beginning of something great because there’s nothing better than winning.”
In his first year as head coach, Mike Shields said he could only hope for better times to come their way.
“I hope this will carry over for years to come and hopefully we can build on it each year because it will give us a chance against the big guys,” Shields said. “And then maybe there won’t be as much doubt in our minds when we play against teams of that caliber in the future.”
E-mail Chicarra at firstname.lastname@example.org.