Wildcats Prepare For State. Fans Ready To Go With Them. - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/13/05-Big Sandy

Wildcats Prepare For State. Fans Ready To Go With Them.

Big Sandy head football coach Scott Callaway has three unique motivational tools at his disposal. They are the state championship trophies won by the Wildcats in the 1970's. Coach Callaway has put those trophies on display in the kids locker room, with a spot left open next to them; a spot representing a 2005 version of the trophy.  They are just one win away from claiming that hardware. A come-from-behind win over Bremond has set up a title match against 14-1 Stratford to be played in Abilene, a town 300 miles away from Big Sandy. But that's OK.  Coach Callaway says the Wildcats are willing to play anywhere.

Our kids even said, we'll go play in the Sunbowl in El Paso," Callaway said.  "We even looked at the option, we'll flip you for Amarillo if we can bring you to the Metroplex. Our kids aren't worried about the road trip. Football field's the same length and same width there. It's got two endzones. We've got to defend one and get into one. It doesn't matter where it's at. Our kids are focused on winning a state championship."

The town of Big Sandy seems ready to win another state title as well, judging by the support they are showing. The community has backed this team all season long, whether packing the stands, or decorating every window in site.

"I went to school here in Big Sandy for 12 years, graduating in '74," said Wildcats supporter Monica DeCuir.  "It's like a dream reliving over again.the Wildcats going to a state championship. And we are going to win."

"It's really great to see how they help bring the community together," said Big Sandy Mayor Sonny Parsons.  "The people of Big Sandy are very supportive. You've probably been to the games.  You've seen how they've really brought the people together, and the turnout. It's an exciting time, and the boys set a wonderful example. It goes back to the coaching staffing preparing these fellas not only for the game but for life."

It's wild," said Wildcats quarterback Deroderick Strickland.  "We got all the bon fires, pep rallies, goody bags and all this other stuff, but they're really excited for us."

"Without the fans we wouldn't be where we at," added running back Brandon McCleveland.  "They were behind us 100% when we lost to Harleton. They were there behind us 100% and we were glad they were there."

Buses are being chartered for all the fans to make the trip to Abilene for Saturday's game against Stratford.  Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00.

Kevin Berns reporting.

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