“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway,”

– John Wayne

This week courage is going to be donning a Louise Hornet football uniform and marching out onto the field.

And while hundreds of players across the state and nation may be standing under those Friday night lights too, I’d wager not a whole lot of them are like those players from just a few miles west of El Campo.

Why?

They now are a team of freshmen and sophomores who just a few weeks ago had no varsity aspirations. A hard hit here and a pulled muscle there, however, and these freshman and JV players have been asked to step into the shoes of sidelined returning senior players.

That’s no easy task.

They haven’t spent the weeks of practice preparing with the varsity team.

They may not know the plays or even the positions they now find themselves in this next game.

They don’t have the experience, the maturity, etc., etc.

It’s unlikely they’ve played a game where the stands are packed too and, Friday, they will be packed in the small township – it’s homecoming.

Louise tends to be a supportive batch to begin with as it’s a place where moms, dads, grandmas, big brothers and the neighbors down the street come out to cheer.

On homecoming, those ranks swell yet again with family members visiting just for the occasion, more friends, their friends and a few others who just know it’s a show.

That’s mighty daunting young boys taking the field who may not be sure what number they’ve been assigned this week.

The good news for these youngsters, however, is that Louise and Hillje folks take “Heart of the Hornets” mighty seriously – more seriously than mojo.

So those boys can at least count cheers rather than jeers.

I’ve attended assorted Hornet games over the decades during winning, losing and “Gee I sure hope we score at least once” seasons and I’ve never heard those in the stands offer anything but support for the boys in blue and gold.

That says something about not only the school, but the people in the community.

There’s a lot more than “Clean Country Air To Share” in Louise. There’s a whole lot of class too. It will be on display Friday night on and off the field.

Win or lose.

John Wayne would be proud.

That used to mean something too. I hope it still does.

– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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