CUERO – Cuero football players figured their fourth-period character development class would be like all the rest.
Assistant coach Aaron Grubb was scheduled to speak before Cuero’s Class 4A, Division II quarterfinal game against Navarro.
The theme of the week was “kick the door down” since the Gobblers had been eliminated in the fourth round the previous two seasons.
“One of the coaches is designated to speak about a book we’re going over called, “Chop Wood Carry Water,” said Grubb, who is in his second season at Cuero. “In mine, it talked about the archer had been working at this one exact thing and he just couldn’t get over it. He couldn’t past the hump and it played in perfectly with what I was talking about.”
Grubb was searching for a way to emphasize his point and after speaking with assistants Dennis Remmers and Clint Coles, he came up with a plan.
“We found a door and on the door we wrote down all the things the kept us from making the next round,” Grubb said. “That was the main focus. We wanted to make sure the kids came up and wrote on that door and knew those were the reasons why we hadn’t got through that door.”
To his emphasize his point, Grubb turned on music, removed his cap, and ran straight at the door before leaping and kicking it down with both feet.
“I jumped right through it just to get them fired up and understand it was their time to finally knock that door down and for us to get through to the next round,” he said.
The door had barely hit the floor before the players erupted in celebration and surged toward Grubb.
“I was just sitting there and I saw him fly at the door and kick it down,” said linebacker Austin Schwarz. “Coach Grubb is one of our younger coaches and he’s crazy, so I’m not surprised that he did it. It was the round we had been stuck on the past two years. Seeing him do that made us want to get out there and kick the door down.”
Grubb admits he wasn’t sure what kind of response he would get from the players.
“I was really hoping that I would get a good reaction out of them,” he said. “My biggest fear was that I was going to kick that door down and they weren’t going to say anything and they were going to look at me like I was a crazy person.
“But I got up and those guys were jumping around. Obviously, we were extremely excited about it and the biggest thing they understood as a coaching staff we were on that same exact wavelength as them. We wanted to get through just as bad as they did.”
Cuero put the frustration of the previous two years to rest by jumping out to a 48-0 lead over Navarro before capturing a 48-23 win.
The Gobblers went on to defeat Silsbee 29-24 in the semifinals, and claimed their fourth state championship with a 40-28 win over Pleasant Grove.
“Our kids wrote on that door everything they thought were reasons why we lost the previous two years,” said Cuero head coach Travis Reeve. “Coach Grubb kicked that door down and we took that door with us and set it up in the locker room as we were going out to the field to remind us of the mission and needless to say we kicked it down.”