Friday night lights offer sense of normalcy
CLYDE – Finally, a normal Friday night.
For parents, grandparents and supporters of Texas high school athletics the normal routine that surrounds getting to the game has returned at least for 1A to 4A schools.
Go to work, finish up the week as soon as you can, rush home, change into your Tolar Rattler purple and hit the road for an away game in Clyde (this side of Abilene) to open the season against the Post Antelopes.
A two-hour drive into the soon-to-be setting West Texas sun had a familiarity to it that marked a turning point in this malaise we have been suffering from since the abrupt end to all sports back in March.
Excitement building as you find a place for the family to eat – Mary’s Cafe in Strawn – where else?
Finally arriving at the stadium with all the traditions of Friday Night Football that were exactly as they should be with a little more distance from each other in the stands.
It seems the only thing that currently we will be missing is that generally bands will only play for home games and will not travel for halftime performances.
One thing that was very familiar was early-season heat. Temperature at the 7:30 game time was a sizzling 100 degrees.
The visiting Tolar fans were greeted with a full setting sun directly in their eyes for the whole first quarter. Heat precautions were in place, and players from both squads seemed well adjusted to the temps even for one of the hottest days of the year.
Tolar Rattlers were matched up against pre-season #4 Post Antelopes. Post was a complete team with everything in place to compete for a state championship.
The Rattlers played tough against the Antelopes, trailing only 8-0 at the end of the first quarter. The 28-0 halftime deficit was marked with continued good Rattlers defense but some miscues and turnovers.
Tolar was able to generate some turnovers but could not capitalize.
Tolar scored twice in the third quarter with sophomore Brock Owens recovering a forced fumble in the end zone and sophomore wide receiver Wyatt Jones catching a pass for 6 points.
Defensively, senior Macaine Tucker blocked a field goal and also came up with an interception.
The eventual final score was 70-14.
Tolar will travel Friday to Early for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Early dropped its season opener to Bangs 28-0.
Tolar head coach Jeremy Mullins said, “We have correctable mistakes to work on, and we had some bright spots to build on. I was pleased with the effort against a tough team and look forward to a full week of practice to get better.”