Paris homecoming blog
STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND - the Sulphur Springs fans, players and everyone attending the game had to feel a little out -of-place at the new digs for the Paris Wildcats. Sulphur Springs and Paris have been doing battle on the football gridiron for decadess, the first time in a new state-of-the-art stadium which was part of a $51 million bond issue. Parking was limited, some fans were shuttled in to the stadium. Since it was homecoming, a crowd of more than 5,000 was in attendance. Sulphur Springs faithful made the 38-mile trip and packed the visitor's side.
MARCHING ORDERS - As the Sulphur Springs band arrived, one of the first persons off the bus was director Charles McCauley. McCauley, just like the members of the football team, was eager to check out the fake green rug at Wildcat Stadium. The field not little or no crown, officials said it was not necessary and would drain fine following rain. McCauley walked the field, felt the footing and gave it a thumb's up.
TURF STORY - Sulphur Springs head coach Greg Owens said the turf at the stadium is made by the same company which will produce the turf for the multi-purpose building in Sulphur Springs.
OBSERVATIONS - The stadium is great in comparison with Noyes Stadium which was used from 1941-2009 and often unlevel and featured poor lighting for photographing games. Photos of the game were good and clear.
MAIN MANN - Sulphur Springs wide receiver coach D.J. Mann said he was amused that many of the receivers wanted pads for their arms and elbows. "This kind of turf won't burn you like the old turf," Mann said. "This stuff is soft."
HOMECOMING - the Paris homecoming was held during pregame ceremonies. Tiara Hall was named queen in case you are scoring at home.
HONORED GUEST - Deon Minor, a Paris graduate, state 400-meter record holder and a 14-time All-American and four-time NCAA champion at Baylor University was on hand for coin flip. Former Sulphur Springs Wildcats who witnessed the former star player say he could really scorch a football field and track with his blazing speed. Minor now lives near Houston and works for Baylor alum and multiple gold medal winner, Michael Johnson.
MORE BAYLOR TALK - Sulphur Springs assistant coach William Blaylock, a former Baylor lineman, watched Minor and smiled as his accomplishments were told. He said, "He ran the 400 and set a record at Baylor, that was something. Baylor has a serious track program and they don't play when it comes to the 400."
FLY IN - the continuing opening ceremonies continued until 7:32 p.m. as officials waited for sky divers to arrive. Four made the drop, one with the U.S. flag, another with the Texas flag, one with a Paris flag.
SCORING FEST- when the game got started, the focus shifted from Paris to Sulphur Springs. By the half, the visiting Wildcats were in control with a 42-14 lead on the humid night. The Sulphur Springs final total of 62 points was the most they had ever scored against Paris. It was the most points by the Sulphur Springs team since the 69 put on the board in the 69-49 record-breaking historic win in the 2008 state championship game against Dayton.
NEW HELMET - Sulphur Springs players took the field through a new helmet and run through tunnel. The huge inflated helmet and tunnel are school colors complete with the SS logo, Code Blue markings and Sulphur Springs label on the side.
DON"T BUG ME- Not to complain, but bugs, I think they were small beetles, were on and around the field. They got on me, in some players shoes and were nothing compared to the thick, humidity present at the game.
But a win is a win. No, I did not catch a cramp.
TURF OPINION- after seeing the turf and walking on it. I will still stick with the real stuff. I don't care about the up keep cost of grass. I want to feel the real green stuff under my toes. Not painted, heat-retaining synthetic fibers.
Like the old coach said, "I cows won't eat it, I don't want to play on it."
Give me a grass field, throw in some mud. Then it's football, also, while you are at it, bring the temperature down to about 55 degree with a nice breeze. People should not be wearing short-legged pants to the fourth game of the football season, that 's just not right!
WIN STREAK over Paris continues for Sulphur Springs, that's four in a row, 10 of the last 11 for the Wildcats from Hopkins Co. Paris head football coach Travis Smith was quoted earlier as saying that Sulphur Springs would be the most difficult test his 3A team would face this season. That's coming from a coach who has Celina next on the schedule.
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