East Texas town with 'Fever Pitch'

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

GILMER, TX (KLTV) - Gilmer has reached a 'fever pitch' in its support for its high school football team going for another state championship. The Gilmer Buckeyes will being playing for the 3A Division One state title on Saturday.

The signs of Buckeye fever are all over Gilmer.

"You can't live in this town and not be a Gilmer fan, its against the rules," said Stan Runk, a longtime Gilmer fan.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," said Donna Baber, a Buckeye fan. "Its so intense and they're such great guys."

"We're a football Town," said Billy Williams, a Gilmer firefighter. "Its hard to explain but everybody loves football."

The Buckeyes steam-rolled their way through a 3A schedule undefeated, and many feel that this year's offensive juggernaut is nothing short of unbeatable.

"They're excited, we're all excited - the whole town," said Heather Gunter.

Another shot at yet another state title has got everybody in Gilmer talking. It has turned even the meekest fans into ravenous orange and black fans.

"I want us to win state," said Gunter. "We deserve it because we've worked really hard this year. Our boys have worked hard and we all want it."

The Buckeye's seniors have been here before. But have never won the big game.

"Just watching them from the first game through now you can see the difference each game they get a little stronger and stronger," said Runk.

Coaches say this kind of support translates in points on the field.

"Oh the fans have been incredible...our fan base we can equate them like the 12th Man at A&M because they really give the team a lot of energy," said Tim Russell, Gilmer's Assistant Defensive Coach. "They won it all in 2004...and fans are hoping for a repeat. There's just a sense that this may be our year. We're gonna win we're gonna go all the way."

The buckeyes play Abilene Wylie Saturday night at SMU for the state title. Busloads of Gilmer fans, already with tickets, are going to be there.

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