Players, Fans Celebrate State Championship - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/12/04-Tyler

Players, Fans Celebrate State Championship

In front of a huge crowd at San Antonio's Alamodome Saturday, the Robert E. Lee Red Raiders defeated Spring Westfield 28-21 to claim the 5A Division I State Title.

Robert E. Lee's season has been a source of pride for those living in and around Tyler.  The win caps off what many say was a magical year.

Many of those who have cheered on the Red Raiders all season long, gathered at the school Saturday night to welcome the team home from San Antonio.  KLTV was there as everyone soaked up the school's first ever football state championship.

For Red Raider fans, the teams first ever state championship, was worth the wait.

"It doesn't get any better than this as far as high school football... this is great, just a great day," said Tyler Lee fan Raymond Lee.

An estimated 200 people gathered late Saturday night at the school's field house to welcome their team home.  They made sure it was a welcome worthy of a champion.

From proud parents to those who have supported this team from the beginning, this final win was a fitting end to a special season.

"It's amazing, our players did an awesome job," said Tyler Lee Junior, Andrew Mason.  "First time ever so, we're proud of 'em, we're proud of 'em."

"My son called me from Houston and said people don't know where Tyler is I said 'They do now, they do now," said Lee parent, Gloria Espinosa.

For the team, it was much more than a win.  It was a season long goal, realized.

"I know it's just been a heck of a ride and I'm just so happy for these kids," said Dow Wynn, Robert E. Lee Offensive Coordinator.

"It was wonderful, we had so much support and we believed in each other so long because from my freshman year we've been talking about it so it's just great to see a goal and reach it," said Bradford Royall .  "I'll remember this, I'll remember this forever 'till the day I'm dead."

As the 5A Division I State Champions, so will everyone else.

City officials have already begun making plans for a Citywide celebration for the team.  We'll have that information on KLTV 7, once those plans are finalized.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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