Some things folks just never grow tired of. A hug from a friend, a beautiful sunset/sunrise, warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
And the Aledo Bearcats winning state football championships - which they did once again in the season now recently past. It was, in fact, the 12th the program's history and their 11th since 2009.
And with each title comes a subsequent celebration, such as the one held on Wednesday, Jan. 24. It was originally scheduled to be held at Tim Buchanan Stadium, but because of the threat of inclement weather was moved indoors to the Aledo High School main gymnasium.
"This is my fourth time to attend one of these," said Lana Stewart, a first-year receptionist at AHS. "You never get tired of it. Nobody gets tired of winning."
Ironically, Lana, whose family moved to the area in 2019, has no children who played football. However, like so many, she is simply a Bearcats fan and wanted to be there to show support for her home team.
In small towns everywhere, so many bragging rights come back to the success of the local sports teams. And nowhere else in Texas, perhaps even in the United States, does that apply more than Aledo.
Phil and Martha Thompson do, however, have a family connection to the team. Their grandson is Josh McCarley, a senior offensive lineman. It was their second championship celebration to attend.
"Oh, it never gets old," Phil said. "How could it?"
To which Martha added, "This is just awesome. It's unbelievable, the tradition, the boys and the coaches work so hard."
While the spotlight was on the Bearcats football team that finished 16-0 and won the Class 5A Division I state championship, other groups were honored as well. Quarterback Hauss Hejny was joined by tight end Tyson Timms in thanking such groups as the drum line, cheerleaders, Bearcat Regimen (band), color guard, Spirit of Aledo and the dance team, also announcing their various accomplishments.
"We couldn't have done it without you," Hejny said.
Hejny graduated early at end of the fall semester and is now enrolled at TCU, where he will continue his football career. Timms has signed to play for Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado next season.
The ceremonies also recognized the Aledo ISD board of trustees. State Representative Glenn Rogers was on hand and State Senator Phil King's office sent a resolution. The city councils of Aledo and Willow Park were also thanked for recognizing the Bearcats at recent meetings.
After, every member of the varsity football team, along with coaches, trainers and managers were recognized one at a time.
Dr. Susan Bohn has been the district's superintendent for six years. This was her fifth championship celebration.
"This opportunity on the field is doubled by our accomplishments in the classroom," she noted.
Bohn's statement was backed up by the recent Texas High School Coaches Association Academic All-State honors. Nineteen student athletes from Aledo earned this accolade for fall sports, including 13 from football, two from team tennis, one from volleyball and three cross country.
Not so coincidentally, while football was winning state, the cross country girls team finished second at state and the boys also qualified as a team, while volleyball and team tennis both advanced deep into the postseason.
If history repeats, many more such honors await athletes from the winter and spring sports.
Bohn also praised parents for their involvement in their children's success.
"Our parents circle around them," she said. "They feed them, prepare them, make sure they're ready to come to school."
Bearcats head coach Robby Jones took the microphone after the recognitions and offered thanks to those in attendance and the entire community. Jones, who came to Aledo in 2003, has been around for 11 celebrations now - 10 after he became the offensive coordinator in 2009 and now one as the head coach. The only one he was not a part of was their first title in 1998.
"We have great community support here in Aledo. You guys didn't have to come out, but you did to support the kids," he said. "It's a whole community. That's what I love about this place. I wouldn't want to be anywhere but Aledo."
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