Staff, parents, residents, community leaders and state officials returned to Guyer High School on Friday for a repeat celebration of the championship football team.
A packed Wildcat Gymnasium roared with excitement in recognition of the team winning the Class 4A Division I state title this year — the second consecutive championship for the school. The community celebration/pep rally was hosted by the Wildcat Booster Club.
The Guyer Wildcats defeated San Antonio Northside Brennan 31-14 on Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington to clinch their second state title.
The appreciation meant a lot to senior DJ Breedlove, a running back on the Wildcats squad.
“It’s not just for the football team. It’s for the community, it’s for the school and everyone else who participated,” he said.
The road to earning back-to-back championships was no easy feat, Breedlove said. Challengers wanted to make a name for themselves and knock the Wildcats out of contention. But the squad worked harder, he said, and fought their way back to the state title for their teammate, Nathan Maki, who was killed in an accidental shooting last Labor Day weekend.
“We had to do everything just to get back to state and win it for him,” Breedlove said.
The rally included performances by the Guyer Varsity Boys Choir, the Silverados dance team and the varsity cheerleaders. The school’s Blue Crew leader led the crowd in a chant.
Remarks were made by Superintendent Jamie Wilson, school chaplain Guy Earl, school board President Charles Stafford, Guyer Principal Barbara Fischer, head football coach John Walsh, U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, state Rep. Myra Crownover, a member of state Rep. Tan Parker’s staff and the mayors of Denton, Corinth and Double Oak.
Also present were family members of the late John Guyer, a former Denton educator for whom the school is named. The family received a standing ovation at the pep rally.
Several speakers spoke to the successes, hard work and dedication of the football team.
“Denton Guyer is not afraid to achieve greatness, and that’s what this celebration is all about,” said Earl. “That’s what this silver and black is all about.”
“When you do great, you need to know that your greatness reflects far beyond the confines of this school,” Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs told the crowd. “When you do great, the community feels great.”
Wilson said festivities celebrating the Wildcats are beginning to become common.
“A lot of hard work is wasted by the failure to do a little more. One thing you can say about Guyer High School, they’re never afraid to do a little more, and we all know it doesn’t come easy,” he said.
Bringing home another state championship was “awesome,” said Brittany Crabtree, a Guyer student who attended Friday’s rally and who was a part of the school’s 2013 Class 4A state championship soccer team.
“It doesn’t just affect the school, it affects our community and it brings everyone together as a big family,” the 11th-grader said.
“It’s amazing to see how many people actually care about the school and how we succeed as a family.”
Crabtree echoed sentiments shared by Breedlove that this year’s state title was for Maki.
“We know he was watching us every step of the way,” she said.
Outside, American flags lined the front of Guyer High, and a Frenchy’s Lawn Service truck in the school parking lot displayed a message to the championship football team that read “You make us proud.”
When rally attendees were not in the gym celebrating the football team Friday, they were just outside the gym doors purchasing Willdcats football merchandise.
According to those selling the Wildcats gear, approximately 75 T-shirts were sold during Friday’s pep rally. One popular shirt featured the Wildcat logo and read, “Got two?” on the front, with a response on the back, “We do.”
Among those purchasing items was Corinth resident T.J. Brock, who snagged a back-to-back state championship T-shirt.
He said he attended Friday’s rally to see his daughter perform with the Silverados and because he’s “a big football fan.” Brock said Friday’s rally was just as great as last year’s rally.
“This is just a great school, and I’m glad that both my daughters went here,” Brock said.
“We’re just proud of the football team.”
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.