It was there all along; someone just had to find it, hone it and let it shine. And, that's exactly what first year Lions head coach Thomas Brooks has done. He's taken the raw talent on John Tyler's campus, and turned it into a very good football team. Just ask one of the men responsible for bringing him to tyler.
"When he got here, he started to recruit in the halls and started to get the kids out," said John Tyler principal Dr. Michael McFarland. "You could tell that something special was about to happen, you just didn't know that it was going to happen as quickly as it has."
"He started to tell us what all it took to win," added senior defensive back Terrance Garmon, "and so we started in the weight room and he started going out and get guys, guys to start coming, and everybody started working harder and harder and harder and the work ethic started to increase as the season went on."
"I hope he doesn't mind me telling you this," said McFarland, "but in his playbook, the coach's manual, he talks to the coaches about the work schedule and all that and he tells them well, if you get tired, pray for strength. So that's kind of his mentality. He's going to work, and he's going to make sure that you're working."
14 hour work days, unbreakable discipline, and uncanny chemistry among his coaches. That's the secret to Coach Brooks' success. That, and not accepting for as an answer.
"As coaches, as players, it has to get done," explained Brooks. "We weren't going to make any excuse why we couldn't be successful here at John Tyler, because we felt like we had the talent here."
"He works real hard," said senior offensive lineman Cudahy Harmon, who returned to the team after playing just basketball last season. "He tells us never stop fighting. Keep fighting. Never give up."
"He far exceeded all of our expectations up to this point," said McFarland.
More Cujo Notes: No matter what John Tyler does against Rockwall this week, they are guaranteed a shot at the district title in two weeks against Longview. That's enough to make any coach cringe as he prepares his team for a game. But, for John Tyler, it may not be that hard after all to keep the kids focused.
"All we have to do is think about last year and last year says it all," said Garmon, referring to the Lions 2-8 season in which they went 0-6 in district play. "We don't want to be like that no more."
Reaping The Rewards Of Success: A winning football team goes a long way in