Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Polar Bears Win! and Words From Woody

Last Friday I found myself at "Goat Field" in Groesbeck, Texas. After a 34 year absence I was about to see the Frost Polar Bears (my high school team) play football. The last time had been in 1978 and from 1970-73 I had been a member of the team myself. But I was here for this year's team. Frost was in the playoffs and would be facing a team that had beaten them 53-0 last year.

And it was a terrific game. The Polar Bears won 16-12 with a goal line stand as time was running out. The team will now move on to the next level this Friday against the Mount Enterprise Wildcats. The Polar Bears stand 11-1 and the eleven wins are the second most in school history.

With me at the game was my son, son-in-law, and two of my grandsons. None of them attended Frost, but they joined in the excitement with me. I travel home and attend High School games each Thanksgiving weekend, once taking in 5 in a two day period. But this year for the first time, one of those games was played by the Bears! I wrote once about my love of Polar Bear football. I found last Friday that even as time and distance got in the way, I still feel the same.

I saw my sixth grade girlfriend Vickie, and Keith Speer who was one of those Polar Bears I looked up to as a kid. I am sure there were folks there I did not recognize or who did not recognize me. But there were mostly new names and families That I did not know or they me.

But on my side of "Goat Field" we were all cheering for the blue and white with their punishing running game and motivated young coach, Eric Blenden. But none were cheering louder than my high school teammate and friend Gary Woods. Gary was a two time All District selection when we played, and his son Woody plays for the Polar Bears (and scored the night's first TD). I had made plans to touch base with him and caught him just before game time. I am pretty sure Gary is a motivated parent and is probably hoarse after every game. We did catch a glimpse of each other during the game somehow we were teammates again.

To top it off, I got to meet Woody after the game and told him how happy I was for them and wished them well. He shook my hand and said he had heard a lot about me. (Uh-Oh). But as I hugged him and told him bye, he looked at me and said "Once a Polar Bear, always a Polar Bear". Not sure if this kid will even remember he said it..... But I sure will.

Go Polar Bears!

Woody and Gary



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