Today's quest... get down Highway 87 south to O'Donnell. It wasn't very easy as storms were building. Yes, that is a very good thing! But some fields have not been plowed in a long while. At one point, I couldn't see one foot past the front of my pick-up and was crawling along at about 30mph. And it was still 103 degrees. I can only imagine that it felt like a very large blow dryer outside! It rained a bit outside of Tahoka. It was just enough to dot my pick-up with red blobs of dirt. In no way am I complaining. That stuff will wash off, and we desperately need the rain.
I finally pulled into O'Donnell. The Screamin' Eagles were already hard at work on a beautiful field of green grass. I could get used to this! There were a lot of bodies on that field. Coach Baeza has 29 players out this year. And they were all working hard. My favorite comment heard during practice was, "Hustle! You don't walk on this field!" That is a great mindset. Hustle was definitely the word of the day.
In 2021, Gage Garces earned All-Region Honorable Mention for the Screamin' Eagles. You probably recognize that last name. It seems there has been a Garces on the O'Donnell field for as long as I can remember, and they are all very hard workers and great players.
Eight seniors are poised to take a leadership role. Borden County moves out of their district, but Coach Baeza isn't overlooking Whiteface and Meadow. Last year the Eagles fell to Borden County as the final seconds ticked away and then went down to Meadow. The Broncos dashed their playoffs hopes in 2021, but a hunger has built over the past eight months, and the Screamin' Eagles are working hard to get to the playoffs.
Players to watch include the Gage Garces, the Bundy twins, Nick Rios, and Omar Vela. Coach Baeza is really looking to his "coach on the field," Shooter Vela. Now that is an incredibly cool name! Coach Baeza's twin boys are sophomores this year.
Speaking of twins, one of my favorite ADs, Blake Nichols, let me in on a little secret as I sat in his golf cart at the edge of the field. O'Donnell has four sets of twins. Three sets of twins are players and the fourth set includes a boy and girl. The boy plays football and the girl is a team manager. So, if your team is playing O'Donnell, you might find yourself seeing double. A lot.
Thank you, Coach Baeza and Coach Nichols for having me today. It's always a pleasure visiting O'Donnell! And to the players, keep up the hard work. It will pay off! And don't ever forget, Go Forward and Do GOOD!
- Bobbie Brown
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