At Wednesday's East Texas Kickoff luncheon, players and coaches got some encouragement from someone who has walked in both sets of shoes.
Former Kilgore College coach and Cowboys Director of College and Pro Scouting Larry Lacewell was the guest speaker. Lacewell won a national championship at Kilgore and at Oklahoma and Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
"I've seen so many East Texas athletes come out of here and be successful. I've seen Earl Campbell and Billy Simms and those guys. If I can give them any advice, it's listen to their high school coaches. These guys in East Texas are great. Go to school and get those grades up."
As for his days at Kilgore, Lacewell looked back on the time with a light-hearted nostalgia.
"I love East Texas," he said. "I got to come here and appear. I was a young coach a single guy loved all those good-looking Rangerettes. It was a great time for me. I had never been around high school football with such enthusiasm at that time."
Coaches from several different high school and college programs attended the luncheon, many with at least one of their players. The East Texas Kickoff Luncheon helps sponsor scholarships for area athletes.