‘Mustang family’ healing since death of Garrett
Everywhere there was Reggie Garrett at Dan R. Hooks Stadium.
Hundreds of brightly colored index cards had been interwoven to create chains that stretched the length of the home side bleachers. On each link was written a message to Reggie from a student. Entering the field the Mustangs burst through a banner that only read the now iconic “112%.”
“112% was on the shirt backs of the coaching staff with the initials “R.G.” and Proverbs 27:17.
It was the first time West Orange-Stark had taken the field since the death of the young quarterback on Sept. 17. On their first play of the game the Mustang offense went into formation leaving the quarterback position vacant taking a delay of game penalty as a tribute to Garrett. Kirbyville declined the penalty.
Garrett’s best friend and favorite receiver Mark Roberts wore the No. 12. Roberts had caught the final of two touchdown passes thrown by Garrett just moments before he collapsed on the sideline two weeks ago against the Jasper Bulldogs.
Armbands, helmet stickers and painted on children’s faces- ‘No. 12’, ‘R.G.’ and ‘112%’. Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Salter played a valiant role stepping in for his fallen teammate.
The Mustangs didn’t win Saturday night against the Kirbyville Wildcats. The two state ranked football teams put on a championship caliber performance. Kirbyville, however, defeated West Orange-Stark 28-14.
But the real victory wasn’t on the scoreboard. Mustangs were playing football again in Dan R. Hooks Stadium where the feeling was hallowed. The ‘Mustang family’, in the bleachers and on the sideline, or watching the game on television, smiled with each other, cheered and thought about Reggie.
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville football team joined the Mustangs on the sideline with Coach Randy Crouch a longtime WO-S football coach now in his second year as LC-M athletic director.
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