Craig Paschal ~ Wylie High School Class of 1981
A few years back I was working in a homeless shelter which houses mostly Native Americans in Cortez, Colorado. A Mountain-Ute named Monty Coyote asked me, “Where are you from?”
I said, “Mancos,” which is eighteen miles from Cortez. Monty Coyote said, “No, where are you from?” I replied, “Well, my mom and dad grew up in Kansas.”
Monty Coyote said, “No, you don’t understand me. This is where I’m from. This is the land and the people I grew up with. My father, my mother, and my grandparents have always been from here. Where are you from?”
After thinking for a little while I said, “Well, I’m from Wylie, Texas. Specifically, from a time and place from 1974 to 1981. Wylie is the place that shaped and formed me. That’s where I’m from.”
“It’s good to be from somewhere,” replied Monty Coyote.
I have fond memories of growing up in Wylie and will always carry within me a part of that place, time, and especially the spirit of the people I grew up with in Wylie. In high school I played football and basketball and was fortunate to play on some good teams. Those playing days led to a full scholarship to play football at West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M). I always thought college would be bigger and better in sports, but it was not. I learned in college that the kinship I experienced at Wylie is what made playing worthwhile. I am forever thankful for that community.
After graduating from West Texas I wandered around to different jobs and places looking for something. Not surprisingly I ended up teaching secondary English (thank you Coach Terry) and coaching high school football (thank you Coach Shaffer) in a small Northwest Colorado town about the size of Wylie in 1980 but my new home town was a little bit colder in the winter and the people did not have southern drawls.
When I became the head football coach, I did not know what to do so I tried to do everything exactly like we did at Wylie. We ran the Houston Veer and the 4-3 defense with tough and pinch stunts. We ran the same punt and punt return plays. Everything was the same. After a few years we even broke the huddle with “AHMO.” In 1995 and 1996 we made it to the Colorado 2A State Championship game.
We lost both championship games which was certainly disappointing but the friendships and memories the team and the community shared along the way will always be special. To this day I enjoy getting that occasional phone call from a former player or student who just wants to check up and see how things are going.
After teaching and coaching for many years I left education to become a United Methodist minister. I now use a different vocabulary than I did as a coach (thank God for that) but in many ways I’m still developing and sharing the same values that I believe many coaches, teachers, and community members modeled for me as a young person growing up in Wylie. I am still part of a community that nurtures relationships and gets upset with one another and learns to forgive and move forward. I am very thankful for the people and the place where I grew up. Where I am from (Wylie, Texas 1974-1981) and all it represents is still where I live in Mancos, Colorado, 2015.
Craig Paschal, October 1, 2015
Family information: I am married to Jennifer Paschal who is a teacher and we have two kids. Our daughter Andie loves art and attends Hastings College in Nebraska and our son Ro loves to run and will probably wander around as much as he runs.
Offense: Donovan Ollie and Emilio Ames
Defense: Jeremy Reeves and Taylor Green
Special Teams: A.J.Hernandez and Chance Miller
Scout Offense: Eric Mims and Scout Defense: Cameron Apodaca
Who is ready for some FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ? If you are unable to come tonight, you can LISTEN LIVE !
Chris Givens was a two-sport star in football and track. He tore his ACL in his left knee in September 2007 to bring an early close to his high school football career. He rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries against Hebron in the second game of the 2007 season, but injured his knee the following week in the first quarter against Richardson Berkner.
Chris also ran track and won the District 9-5A 100 meter title in 2007. He was third in the district meet in 2007 in the 200-meter dash with a 22.29 clocking and a member of the district champion 800 meter relay team (1:28.33). He ran a 10.44-second 100-meter dash (electronic) at the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays in 2007. In late January, 2008, just 15 weeks after ACL surgery, he clocked a 10.7 in the 100 meters. Also ran a 10.62 100m during the 2008 Region 2-5A meet. He was ranked as high as the fourth fastest in the 100 meters in the Texas high school ranks.
Chris played college football at Wake Forest University from 2009 to 2011. He totaled 629 receiving yards as a redshirt freshman in 2009 and 514 as a redshirt sophomore in 2010. In July 2011, he was placed on the watchlist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award. After catching six passes for 101 yards in Wake Forest's October 2011 win over Florida State, Givens was named the Offensive Receiver of the Week by the Atlantic Coast Conference for the second consecutive week. In the first seven games of the 2011 season, Givens had 46 receptions for 866 yards and eight touchdowns.
He was selected in the fourth round, 96th overall, by the St. Louis Rams in the 2012 NFL Draft. Chris enters the 2015 season with 45 career games, in which he started 25 of them. He registered 87 catches for 1,426 yards in three seasons, a 16.4-yard average. He led the Rams with 691 receiving yards his rookie season. The Wylie High School track meet is named in his honor, the Chris Givens Invitational Track Meet.
The Tom Thumb Game of the Week is McKinney North at Wylie. This should promise to be a good match up as each team is strongly competitive and eager to get on the field and take care of business.
Through the first 3 weeks of practice the Pirates have been doing some good things. On offense, the younger guys are ahead of schedule in terms of understanding concepts and are executing at a pretty high level for the number of new guys. We have a long list of “playmakers” and the guys are focused and working very hard every day to become better.
The defense is also making great strides and exerting all they have to gain experience. Having graduated 41 seniors in the spring, the Pirates have quite a few young guys working hard for their position.
Leading the Pirates on the field Friday Night are Captains Justin Pegues, Eli Smith, Taylor Green and Emilio Ames.
Justin Pegues, Wide Receiver is 5’11” at 170lbs and a 3-year Letterman, 2-year starter. Pegues is an excellent athlete and can be depended on to Lead the Pirates on and off the Field. Justin is the vocal leader of the Captains and he is the piece that ties it all together.
Eli Smith, Running Back is 5’7” at 175lbs and a 3-year starter. Eli has had the best off-season of all Pirates. He has worked hard and it is paying off. Eli is a great young man that leads by example.
Taylor Green, Defensive Line is 6’ 245lbs and a 3-year starter. Green is very athletic, explosive off the ball and he is great at penetrating and filling the gap. Taylor is the quiet leader but he does a great job leading by example.
Emilio Ames, Quarterback is 6’4” 210lbs and a 3-year Letterman, 2-year starter. Emilio is making good, quick decisions with plays and has done a good job speeding up the learning process with the receivers. Emilio has stepped into the Captain-role and is leading the Pirates by position.
You may also purchase tickets online at
Five 2016 High School Football Predictions that have been made.
AHMO AHMO AHMO AHMO AHMO AHMO
As high school players hits camps across the country this month, Urban Meyer had a message for campers about high school football.
Two weeks ago, Nick Saban railed that football was the only sport left where the high school coach still matters and he wanted to keep it that way in the face of satellite camps. Meyer’s message to campers: It’s fine to do camps and get exposure, but what matters most is what you do in high school and what your coach says about you.
“Why don’t you bust your ass for your high school team? Why don’t you become captain?” Meyer said in a video posted by Bucknuts 247. “I’m involved in all this recruiting. ‘Do I have to go to this camp?’ No. I’ve got a better idea. Go become your high school coach’s best player, so when our staff goes to the high school, guess what the high school coach tells us? The same thing I said (to the NFL) about Zeke Elliott, about Bosa, Eli Apple, Taylor Decker, Darron Lee, Vonn Bell, Mike Thomas, Braxton Miller: ‘Take them. They’re the real deal. They’re teachers’ players. You can count on them.’
“For some reason, this recruiting thing is blowing up. ‘I have to go to this 7-on-7, do this, do this.’ I’ve got a better idea. Go become a great high school football player on your team. When (we) walk in that high school, guess what that high school coach says? ‘Take him.’ You know what we do at Ohio State when he says that? We usually take him. I don’t care what you do at those other camps. I want to hear your high school coach say, ‘Take him.’ If I have relationship with that high school coach like I do with these NFL coaches, guess what happens? We take him.
“Don’t worry about (all the camps). That’s all fun stuff, that’s great. But that’s not why Ohio State recruits you. I can speak for the majority of my friends that coach football. That means nothing. What means something is the recommendation of the high school football coach. Go become a captain. If you’re a captain of your high school team and you’re talented enough, you’ve got a great chance of being here. If you’re very talented and you’re not a captain, I’m going to find out why, because something’s not right.”
Camps are opportunities for coaches to get a direct look at a player. Satellite camps or not, every coach values the on-campus camp.
But Meyer had the same message for parents who ask about the exponential increase in camps.
“I have parents ask all the time, ‘Should I send him to that camp?’ Sure, if you have 80 bucks to blow, go ahead,” Meyer said. “Here’s where you start: Go make your high school coach so proud of you that he’s going to tell the college coach, ‘Take him.’ How cool is that? It’s real simple. Don’t complicate things.
“Our college players ask all the time, ‘I want to play in the NFL some day.’ Great. Become a great player. Become a selfless player. Incredible discipline doing stuff right all the time. And when it gets tough, you be the guy we can count on. See what happens then. Then we get to go to Chicago or New York, and in the first round, the New York Jets select Darron Lee, and you see the mom crying, and he goes up there with Roger Goodell as a first-round draft pick because he did what we asked him to do.”
Article written by Chris Vannini with Coachingsearch.com
Who is ready for some AHMO football? Let's get this season kicked off ~ Come to the August Brick Builder's Meeting Monday, August 1st @ 6:30 in the IMPAC Classroom. There is lots to be done !
Have you registered your Freshman for the Freshman Camp ?