NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A kind of history will be made at Williams Stadium in Garland Friday night. Two high school football teams, that didn’t win a game last year, will square off to start the 2014 season. For the North Garland Raiders and Greenville Lions, the future starts now.
“We’ll be there to support the Lions and the band and all the kids involved, you bet,” Terry Driggers told CBS 11 News. Driggers is a Greenville graduate and the father of a current Greenville Band member. The high school is in the unenviable position of being on a 40-game losing streak, the second worst in Texas.
Last year’s seniors carried an especially tough burden, but their spirit seemed to endure. Driggers said, “Some of these graduating seniors that just went through high school without winning a football game… But they hit the field every Friday night trying and with a lot of spunk.”
The game was the noontime talk of Ruby’s Diner in downtown Greenville. Patron’s say despite the tough losses, there was and is no quit in the boys. And the joy ad determination of the children rubs off on the community, according to Driggers. “The town’s ready to play football. Still a lot of Lion Pride, and I’m one of those Lion Pride dads.”
Jerry Minter, another restaurant patron, agreed with his friend. “They certainly have a lot of pride and it’s not a lack of the citizens of Greenville supporting them. They’ve certainly done that.”
North Garland hasn’t had a cakewalk, either. They went 0-10 last year, and only racked up two wins the past four seasons.
But the challenge doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Head Coach Joe Castillo. “It’s kind of nostalgic here all the time,” he told CBS 11 as he walked the school’s track and practice field. “I can see the house I grew up in from right here, from this football field.”
Castillo played high school ball at North Garland. In only his third season as head coach, he says he’s seen a turnaround.
“Last year on the varsity we had 27 kids, this year we go with 40,” he said. “So the numbers have increased and we’ve got more experienced players playing.”
Coach Castillo says his team’s recent record isn’t really a topic of conversation. “Well, we don’t talk about the past. We haven’t talked about Greenville. We haven’t talked about Greenville’s record. We’ve only talked about North Garland and what we can do to improve.”
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
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