By Dency McClure
I made it to Throckmorton a few minutes early and decided to take a little trip down memory lane. I actually lived in Throckmorton when I was little. My dad was the Methodist preacher there and served the Throckmorton and Woodson churches. I attended Kindergarten and first grade here. Great memories! The church still looks fantastic and the parsonage too. It’s so heart warming to see things still loved and cared for. If you haven’t seen them the Methodist and Baptist churches in Throckmorton are glories to behold. Beautiful architecture and massive structures.
It's funny how things can seem so different when you are small. I walked to school with my older brothers and it seemed so far. In reality, it was less than a block. I doubt the trail is still there but we used to take a well-beaten path through the middle of the block so we weren’t ever on the street. It weaved through people’s yards, and at that time, all the owners were fine with the school kids using it to make their way to and from school.
I made my way up the steep hill and found the boys on the practice field. It was actually under 100 degrees so it was a great weather day in my book. I parked by the travel buses and got to work. When there was a break in activity, Coach Hantz greeted me. I do my best to never be a distraction to coaches. I stay out of the way and take my photos and let them greet me when they have a moment. I’m not one to charge up and announce myself and need attention. I was taught by Coach Storey, of Newcastle, how to behave on a field, and I honor that.
Throckmorton has a wonderful practice area. Plenty of room for whatever they need. Standing on the practice field, at the top of the hill, you have a nice view of the stadium. I’ve always liked how it's a bit of a sunken field. It’s dug out of a hill a bit to make the flat playing field. The grass is green and the stands were glistening in the afternoon sun. It is ready for the first game of the season.
I was very thankful for the cold water bottle offered by the coaches. Coaches always want to know where I’m going next and where I’ve been. I think this is the most asked question I get. Sometimes they even ask how a team I’ve seen is looking. Don’t worry coaches I answer truthfully but in generalities. I don’t give away secrets! I want to be invited back.
The practice field has a very nice long sand pit. I only see these occasionally. There are definitely something almost all coaches want but for one reason or another don’t have. The boys ran through the pit on whistle commands a couple of different times while I was there. I always love to see the dirt fly and try to capture it in my photos.
One of my absolute favorite things to see is coaches taking an active part in practice. Running plays, being the quarterback, or working the line. I saw all of this today. The assistant coaches were in the thick of it getting a workout. Don’t worry, they have plenty of players that can do these things. This just helps control variables so they can work on certain aspects easily. Hantz was right there watching every move and giving hands-on advice as needed. I enjoyed watching him direct the show. He was watching every single thing in everything they did. He didn’t just see the kids on one end, he saw the whole picture every time. He then addressed any issues and gave praise where earned.
I was fascinated by Coach Hantz. He had his paper and his notes that he would pull from his pocket and study. He would then check the time on his phone and plan accordingly on what to move to next. At water break, he was proud to say they were on schedule to get everything he wanted done today. I know he has enjoyed coming home and coaching where he played. I feel for him a bit. Having been a player on their state team, I’m sure there is a pressure and a personal desire to take Throckmorton back.
I have to say, I always enjoyed seeing the purple santa hats the cheerleaders had for those state trips back then. I bet if they make it back someone could find some new ones. It was definitely a fun thing to see.
I had to head out to make it to Moran, the next practice on my list. On my way out, I saw the Hotel Lazy T. It’s a big, beautiful, older home that is now a hotel. It is located right next to the school and football field. I googled them when I got home, and it is definitely a fascinating place. They have a Hotel Lazy T facebook page if you’re interested. We may just need to come cover a game and stay there. We could easily walk to and from the game.
See you on the sidelines!
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