Coming Together: a story of three cities - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Coming Together: a story of three cities

GRAND SALINE, TX (KLTV) -

There are no stands, no fancy turf, it’s not even a football field. But, this is where Grand Saline’s Youth Football  5th and 6th grade team practices every week.

There are just over 20 kids from three different cities. Grand Saline, Edgewood, and Fruitvale. While they may have started as a hodge-podge team, they are finishing up as a force to be reckoned with. As one of the last 8 teams standing in their East Texas League.

“They swore up and down we wouldn't make it, and if we did make it we would hurt the spirits of the kids because we wouldn't win a game. The fact of the matter is, sportsmanship starts at a young age. You grow into it," said Ryan Key, GSFY Football Commissioner.

That’s the real story here. It’s the fact that cities with huge football rivalries came together, so that every kid could get a chance to play football.

“I got tagged on Facebook by a couple of friends that are in grand saline, that they were looking for more player to play on their 5th and 6th grade team. They were asking anybody in the surrounding towns that were eligible to play in grand saline to come and play,” said Carey Hawkins, mom Edgewood player.

If the idea of an Edgewood or Fruitvale kid playing as an Indian, still sounds like a turf war waiting to happen. Grand Saline Head Football Coach Micheal Ridge doesn’t seem to have a problem with his own kid playing with a rival.

“Oh he loves it. We did everything we can to kinda build this team up, and we have some guys from Edgewood that come over to play with us just to help us make the team. They are doing great right now and made the playoffs so they’re pretty excited about it,” said Ridge.

“Its strange because we didn’t think we’d get there. We thought we’re gonna play football, everybody was new to this. We thought this was just going to be just for fun," said Hawkins.

Well the mom’s weren’t completely wrong, because winning is fun. That’s exactly what these kids are doing. Proving that you don’t need a much but some good coaching, a willing attitude, and of course someone to cheer you one. That’s the winning combination.

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