By Dency McClure
I loaded up this morning and headed south, about 20 min from my home, to the big Sixman town of Eden. It is big as far as Sixman towns go. Eden has at least three convenience stores, a motel, a Dairy Queen, and much more. Not your stereotypical Sixman town.
I always enjoy dropping by Eden's two-a-days to take pictures. Unlike most Sixman towns in the area Eden has a practice field. It is a nice area surrounded by an old rock fence dotted with a few nice shade trees. This makes for the ideal place for the players to congregate during water breaks. A place to sit and enjoy the shade and a breeze.
When I arrived this morning I parked in the nice shade along the old stone wall. Enjoyable music filled the air coming from a speaker set up pointed at the field. I was quickly greeted by a knowing nod from Coach Garmon to let me know he had seen me. I have a personal policy to be a silent observer and to be as unseen as I can. I have found this sets coaches and players alike at ease. I noticed the players were enjoying their time on the field and the music seemed to be playing a part into that enjoyment. There was a nice breeze and the temperature had not gotten out of hand yet. Lots of throwing and catching drills with frequent water breaks. Sixman is a running game and everyone can receive so these drills are definitely a must. I enjoy trying to catch photos of the two quarterbacks throwing in tandem. I got lucky today and caught a couple. During a longer water break I was able to interview coach Garmon and here is my favorite line from his interview "I love the platform football has given us to raise the next generation of men." Garmon is an impressive man and understands his role as a mentor to the boys he is blessed to spend time with.
I got to put a face with the name Hunner Rodgers as he had messaged Texas 1A Fan wanting us to broadcast a game. It is always nice to get to meet people that contact us with ideas and request. I totally called him out during a water break so I'd know who he was. He didn't seem to mind too much.
My point of interest moment was when I saw the funny t-Shirt a young trainer was wearing. It read "Exercise, I thought you said EXTRA FRIES!" I felt that was a neat shirt for day two of workouts. We all need a little humor when sweating. I have learned that covering outdoor sports, in all kinds of weather, is no place for glamor. I am always impressed with the number of dedicated water/ball kids Eden has on the sidelines every year. They are lucky to have a hard working crew.
I headed home even more excited about the season to come. I had a moment of nostalgia for the amazing old rock work that dawns the Eden CISD campus. Wondering how many generations of boys have sat on that wall enjoying the breeze and shade during workout water breaks. Often times we don't realize the friendly spirits of the past surrounding us and pushing us forward. If only that wall could speak and tell us tells of the players who have come and gone that rested there. Yet the wall speaks to us by its mere presence and persistence to exist.
Like the old rock wall that comforts them the Eden Bulldogs persevere into another season.