‘All In’ motto inspires 6A season


photo or infographic by staff photo

ALL IN. In the game against Magnola West in 2019, senior Steele Bardwell looks to complete a pass while senior Andy Parker makes a block.

by Charnell Haywood, VOW co-editor

Friday night lights. Players with purple and white, clashing helmets with opponents, while fans cheer in the stands. The stands erupt as the QB throws the ball, which sails smoothly into a wide receiver’s hands. Then the player runs with all his might. Touchdown. Then a field goal attempt. Points scored. Offense out, defense in. Run, tackle and live in the moment. 

Football season is around the corner and everyone is anticipating what it would look like. COVID-19 will make some changes necessary,  but for the friends and family of seniors this is an important season for them because it may be the last.  As players get ready for 6A opponents, a new motto is expressed. 

Off-season or in-season, the team never stopped workouts. Once, UIL allowed in-person activities, the team jumped in safely with the Summer Pride program. 

“In the spring, we held virtual workouts daily and once UIL said that we could get back to school,  we started with our Summer Pride, ensuring safety in every way,” Coach Timothy Knicky said. “Since school has started, we have continued our Summer Pride every afternoon, after the kids had a chance to get their online schooling done.”

Practice is to start within a few days with a scrimmage and the first game closing in. Players plan to make the most of their experience, playing the game they love. 

“We are going to officially start practice September 7th, have a scrimmage, the 18th, and play our first game the 25th,” senior linebacker Jace Halbaedier said. “Precautions are being taken, but we are going to make the most of it, so we can play the game that we love.”

Quarterback senior Steele Bardwell is ready to show people it doesn’t matter what ‘A’ the team is or what the history records says, a state title is what they’re coming for. 

“This season we are playing in 6A, which is the biggest and best football you can play,” Bardwell said. “The whole off season and summer we have been preparing to achieve our personal and team goals. We want to make it as far as we can in the playoffs and win a state title to show people we can play no matter what ‘A’ it is and what the history or records were in the past.”

Players’ minds are made up, goals are set, this is the year for a state title. 

“Willis is going to be heard this year,” junior corner/wide receiver, Tallas Harrison said. “We are working hard to go to state and not giving nobody no chances.”

Playing 6A football just means more opportunities for growth, so with work and strategies, the team is ‘All in’ to win as a brotherhood. 

“We understand that we have to work along with everyone in our district, but the main way we will take on 6A opponents is a week by week process of strategizing,“ ATH senior Josh Thomas said. “Our motto this year is: ‘All In,’ and what it means is it’s everyone, not some, but every last single one of us is in. We will win together, as a brotherhood, as a family, all in together as one.”

The motto ‘All In’ inspires players to unite as one, with one mindset for one victory. The 6A teams will not know what hit them once Willis hits the field. 

“What it means to be in 6A is that we have to come and play with a chip on our shoulder,” junior ATH Jadarius Brown said. “We are all in, thinking the same, and having the same mindset from the coaches to every player. We are ready for the fall and to ball out in 6A.”  

With over 50 players, and 23 seniors, Coach Knicky wants players to know their last time is never known so it’s important to enjoy now with the team. 

 “I would tell them to enjoy every single day you get to play with your team,” Knicky said. “This year, more than ever, you never know when that last practice or game will be. Soak it up and enjoy everything about it, because it will be gone very soon.”