Football 'brings out the best in the community' (video)
Aug. 31, 2012 at 3:31 a.m.
Updated Sept. 1, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.
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GOLIAD - She has yelled until she lost her voice, jumped up and down for a win and teared up at the disappointment of a loss at more than 400 football games.
"I've missed a few here and there," said JoAnn Ross, of Goliad, sitting in the stands to watch two of her grandsons play Friday night.
"My other grandson plays at East in Victoria, No. 88," she said, distracted, already focused on the game. "I try to make his games, and I have a grandson playing at Refugio. I'm the traveling grandma, because I have to make those games."
Goliad Football Coach John Mares said football teaches valuable lessons.
"The score board does not tell the whole story," Mares said. "When these young men get further down the road and they have a family and times are tough ... football teaches that when you are on the bottom, to get back to the top you have to work hard."
Ross, whose three sons also played football, agreed.
"I think it played a huge part in who they are," she said of her sons. "Because what they learned, they are now teaching their sons ... If you did your best, then that is good enough. If you put your heart into it, then you did good."
She said the sport brings her family together, with about 12 moms, dads, aunts, uncles and cousins watching Goliad play against St. Joseph High School on Friday night.
Getting there almost an hour early, Ross was lucky to get a seat before the stands started overflowing onto the sidewalk.
Ross's daughter, Patricia Ross, was at the game against St. Joseph to cheer on her son, Jalen Moore, a senior at Goliad.
"Last week, there was a scrimmage and the stands were full like it was a real game," she said. "The community really backs the team, and everyone is excited when school starts because then football season starts."
Football doesn't just unify the players, she said, it unites the community, too.
"We are just here supporting our kids, and everyone is just a family," she said. "It doesn't matter about politics, your beliefs or all the stuff going on. It just isn't thought about."
That, Mares said, is one reason football is so important.
"When you talk about football and you talk about Friday nights, you talk about the community," Mares said. "The stands are going to be full, it is an exciting day for the people of Goliad County ... it brings out the best in the community."
JoAnn Ross said in Texas, football is a legacy.
John Franklin, 9, of Victoria, was one of the many there to watch his cousins play. He plays Little League in Victoria.
"I like to run and tackle," he said.
John hopes to play football in high school like his cousins. He wants to be a running back.
"I love when they run the touchdown," he said, ready to watch his cousins shine under the stadium lights.