Every once in a while, a routine story can really reach out and grab a reporter.
Such a thing happened to me this week as I covered the Grayson County Commissioners Court meeting that honored the Gunter Tigers for their recent state championship season.
The Tigers went 16-0 for the season on their way to a decisive win over Boling in the championship game at AT&T Stadium last month. All season long, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers kept those who attend the court’s weekly meetings up to date on the success of the Gunter team. It is worth noting that Magers’ son Kennon plays on the team, but I would hazard a guess that Magers is enough of a football fan that he would have kept us informed of such a winning team even if he didn’t have a personal attachment to it.
Grayson County Commissioner Phyllis James lives in Gunter, as do her grandchildren. She did her part to relay the team’s success throughout the season, as did Commissioner Jeff Whitmire, who also serves parts of Gunter.
After the meeting ended on Tuesday and before the football heroes went off to have their lunch, I watched while the young men seated on the front row showed that they are more than just athletes. They proved, in my eyes anyway, that they are also very good human beings. James’ little grandsons were having their photo taken with the team. While I watched, one of the football players took off his medal and placed it on one of the little boys. Another player called for a second medal and soon the second little boy was wearing one as well. The little boys’ faces went from bright to solar flare bright.
I didn’t hear anyone tell the football players to offer up their hard-earned jewelry to the children. Nor did I hear anyone say that both of the little boys needed a medal. It seemed to me that the players just got excited about making those younger boys happy.
When the meeting started, I had a great deal of respect for the level of athletic ability the Gunter Tigers possessed. By the time I watched their interaction with those little boys, I had respect for their humanity as well.
Happy birthday Thursday to T.A. Tredway of Sherman; and David Wright of Denison.
Happy anniversary Thursday to Nancy and Randy Shirley of Sadler, 44 years.