City Celebrates Tyler Lee State Championship - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


City Celebrates Tyler Lee State Championship

It's was the day Red Raider players and fans have been waiting for since the last seconds ticked off the game-clock in San Antonio.  That's when Robert E. Lee defeated Spring Westfield in the 5A Divison I State Championship game, bringing the school's first ever state football title home to Tyler.

Saturday, the city rolled out the red carpet for a championship celebration.  Raider fans showed up early, hoping to get a good look at the newest state champions.  One by one they showed off their winning stuff.

First the band, then the drill team the cheerleaders and then the football squad.  All a part of this championship season.

"Pride, just so proud," said Lee fan Donna Christian.  "Words can't describe it... unbelievable.. what a ride what a ride."

"I've never seen a school with as much spirit as this school has, this is awesome," said Robert Brothers.  "The spirit of these kids and all the fans.. It's just unreal."

Fans could barely hold in their emotions as the team made their way into Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.  Their cheers saying volumes about the pride they feel for this team.

State Senator Kevin Eltife and Congressman Louie Gohmert were there to celebrate with the team.  In front of a packed house, Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber added one more honor to the Red Raiders list.

"Now therefore I, Joey Seeber, Mayor of the City of Tyler, Texas, do hereby proclaim today, Saturday, January 8th, 2005 as Robert E. Lee  "How Ya Feelin Red" Championship Celebration Day."

As the Red Raider fans thanked the players and coaches for the memories, Head Coach Mike Owens had this to say.

"We couldn't have gotten any of this done without the help of everybody in the school..  All the different groups...  all those people do a great job.  Our Mom's Club has been the hardest working bunch of ladies I've ever been around and you can't accomplish anything without the support of the community and I've never seen anything like it."

Capping it all off, the Championship Banner was unveiled at the stadium.  Players said it's something that can never be taken away.

"It's just a wonderful feeling.  I never thought that we'd be up there with John Tyler and all those championship teams.. but now we are," runningback Tyrone Ross said.

"We've always been talking about putting a sign up there that says Tyler Lee State Champions, and now it's up there so it's great," said linebacker Warren DeHaven.  "I'll remember this the rest of my life."

They are memories that will last a lifetime, from a team that has helped ensure Tyler, is truly the home of champions.

Congressman Gohmert delivered a congratulations letter to the Red Raiders, from President Bush.  Red Raider fans hope the spirit doesn't stop.  Many say they're already looking forward to another state championship run, next year.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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