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Home News-Telegram Sports A Winning Dedication -- Cumby Trojans triumph over Union Hill, 49-20

A Winning Dedication -- Cumby Trojans triumph over Union Hill, 49-20

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CUMBY — Frazier-Lawrence Field saw the first, of hopefully many wins, on Saturday afternoon as the Cumby Trojans declared a long awaited 49-20 victory over the Union Hill Bulldogs.

“It was a great win! We couldn't beat Union Hill; they did,” said former Cumby coach and honoree Chuck Lawrence with a huge smile. “We feel revenged. It was a great job by the kids. It was a good game.”

The home opener win was special to so many present for the dedication of the newly deemed Frazier-Lawrence Field, formerly Trojan Stadium. The Rick Frazier family, Chuck Lawrence and family, Cumby alumni, the Cumby community, current Cumby students, staff, administration, and coaches, but also to the Trojan football team that delivered the victory.

“It is a great way to start the season,” said Cumby Trojan head football coach and athletic director Ed Perez. “I think it was outstanding. It is a special day for Coach Lawrence and the Frazier family. I thought it was fantastic. It is great for Cumby.”

 

Frazier-Lawrence Field might sit adjacent to the railroad tracks, but the train that powered the maroon Trojan team was combination of seniors quarterback Michael Morris and field goal kicker Daniel “Cancun” Degetau. True to their motto, “Respect all, fear none,” Morris, currently replacing an injured Timmy Cook, was not afraid of the Bulldog wall comprised of several over 250-pound linemen as he barreled through and around them to complete four touchdowns. “Cancun,” as they have nicknamed him because his is an exchange student from Mexico, booted five PATs through the uprights, scored one touchdown, one 2-point conversion, and two field goals.

“I have never kicked the ball before,” said Degetau on his field goal abilities. Degetau, hosted by Scott and Lena Moore, has played football, but not soccer before his arrival to the United States. Cumby Coach Scott Mabe got credit for Degetau's success. “It was all Coach Mabe on special teams,” said Perez.

The turning point of the game came in the last few minutes of the second quarter. The Trojans were had just been coached on how they were starting to be run over by the Bulldogs and were instructed to “get disciplined” when Union Hill got their first score on the board. A penalty took back the 2-point conversion that put the score 17-8. The next two minutes stretched with more penalties on Union Hill plus several instances of a loss of shoes and/or helmets, and it was not due to the mid-day heat.

Morris routed to the far side with 25 seconds remaining on the first half clock to score his first touchdown with teammate “Cancun” clearing the point after for a 24-8 score at the break.

Union Hill came back vigorously scoring with just 9:42 on third quarter clock closing the gap to 24-14. Degetau moved the ball for first down. Morris made a pass to Alx Olker but missed.

Degetau warmed his foot on another field goal, 27-14 Cumby's favor. Degetau kicked a squib ball to Bulldog and made the tackle too. Union Hill inched closer and scored with 3:33 remaining on third quarter clock. Bulldog Chase Boyd was unable to add the extra point.

Trojan senior Rodney Hobbs drove the ball to move the down marker. Morris put in another big gain to near goal line. Morris, on a keeper, down the center for added another TD to his stats. Degetau faked a PAT to seal 2-points. Play paused for an injured Bulldog just as the clouds came out to shade fans with 27 seconds left in third.

Brandon Heer, Trojan sophomore, snagged a Union Hill pass from the air to grant the Trojans a first down before sewing up third quarter play.

Hobbs put in some more yards to start fourth. Morris fired off a long pass to Heer but just narrowly missed mark and possible TD. However, the train was still on track as Morris took in a long run from mid-field combined with can't stop power of “Cancun” to set tilt 42-20.

Degetau got in another good hit that flipped the opponent. This cleared the way for the Trojan combination to repeat scoring. Union Hill remained plagued with injuries to turn the ball over on downs. Cumby scrambled to get players back on the field. At one point, Cumby Coach Gary Parrish replied, “that's all the bodies he had to Perez.”

During the second quarter, Cumby stopped Union Hill on second down with just 10 players on the field. The first quarter got off to a rocky start with some fumbles and injuries. Cumby put the first score on the board with a field goal by “Cancun”. Trojan senior lineman Tanner Gomez was essential in stopping the Bulldogs.

With less than four minutes in first, the Bulldogs dig through for a safety to put game at a one-point difference. Union Hill quarterback made several spin moves to break Trojan tackles. Flags slowed action. Less than a minute remained in first quarter, “Cancun” showed he could put the pigskin past the goal line to score six points. Though exhausted from the run, he also continued to boot the extra point.

Heer's second quarter run was stopped at 40-yard line. Morris routed through Bulldogs for another first down and then repeated it. Degetau hit the end zone only to be called back with a block in the back flag. Olker shined as he broke tackles to clear the goal line for a score with a “Cancun” kick marked good.

Perez switched in Olker near the end of the ball game to the quarterback position. “We have to work anybody we can, just in case, to get some reps and get some practice,” Perez added. “You never know with 1A ball-one play away from possible injuries.” Olker got in some reps before the final buzzer sealed the deal, 49-20 Trojan favor.

“I just wanted us to finish hard. We had an opportunity to put the game away early, and our kids need to understand how to do that,” Perez said. “The heat was a factor, but to me, if they are out of shape that is my fault. It is my job to put together a program to where we make sure they are in shape and that we are doing things right.”

“Morris did a fantastic job, he is doing a great job stepping for Timmy right now until he gets healed up we are relying on him to do a lot of good things,” added Perez.

The field dedication took place prior to kick off. Coach Chuck Lawrence and his family and Rick Frazier's family were both present for the honor. Coach Rick Frazier passed away in 2007 due to a staph infection. His untimely death brought the town and school of Cumby and Lawrence back together again.

Frazier and Lawrence coached together at Cumby from 1976-1980. These two were the coaching staff at Cumby. They turned the school-wide sports in a thriving and successful athletic program. The coaching duo achieved the only high school district football championship in Cumby ISD history in 1979.

“More importantly, they impacted countless young people in a positive manner and instilled in them a sense of pride and purpose,” expressed Cumby High School Principal Don Madden. “The results of their efforts are still being felt throughout our community…we thank them both by dedicating our football field to their memory.”

Lawrence, to who has recently been inducted into the National Junior College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, was brought to tears.

“This was supposed to be for him,” said Lawrence upon receiving the honor in reference to his departed friend and esteemed colleague. “You (Cumby) know you are in my heart, and I love every one of you…this is just so special words can't express.” He said that they both owed their careers to Cumby, and that this was, “their lifetime achievement.”

The new athletic director and head football coach at his hometown of Mineral Wells (2-0), Lawrence let it be known that his stories of Cumby days are relived with each player he coaches.

Rick Frazier's wife, Karen Frazier Hernandez, spoke on Rick's behalf. “Kids, you have proved that you are winners. Yes, you will always be kids to us,” she said to the Cumby alumni. “Coach Frazier's dream was to coach in the NFL. He never saw that come to be. In my opinion, this beats that life-long dream to have this honor. The Cumby kids were their first kids (to coach/teach) and there will always be a special place in our hearts.”

Coach Lawrence gave each player a high-five before entering the field. Lou Ann Higginbottom Petty, Cumby alumni and dedication organizer, presided over the unveiling of the new field sign and plaque, gave the introduction speech, and sang the anthem.

“It was a heck of a day-beyond expectations, it is quite an honor…we lost a great man (in Rick). I believe he is looking down on all,” said Lawrence. “I really think so.”

Cumby (1-1) will travel to Detroit this Friday with a start time of 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, Sept. 10 the Cumby JH will open football action hosting the Detroit Tigers at 5:30 p.m. followed by JV.

The Trojan varsity team will have another road game on Sept. 18. On Sept. 25, Cumby will host Future Trojans night at 7:30 p.m. against the visiting Maud Cardinals. The Trojans will have an open week on Oct. 2 before starting district with homecoming against Fruitvale at Frazier-Lawrence Field, Oct. 9.

Moreover, for those fans of Cumby, don't forget, 'maroon magic,' from the team of then to now.

 

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