You may have seen Marc Morehouse’s blog post on the latest Iowa football recruiting oral commitment, quarterback Nic Shimonek of Corsicana, Texas.
When you’ve never lived in Texas and you like football, as I haven’t and I do, there’s a mythology to Texas high school football that you find fascinating. Well, I do. Look, I watched every episode of the five seasons of “Friday Night Lights.” Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
Long ago while in College Station for an Iowa State-Texas A&M football game, I dropped in on a high school game the night before in either College Station or Bryan, I can’t remember which.
It looked like no different than any other high school game I’d ever seen, but that was OK.
Anyway, I hoped Corsicana was some remote small Texas town, like Dillon, the home of the “Friday Night Light” Panthers. Some roughneck place that puts its emotional state-of-mind on the fortunes of its high school football team.
That’s sick in real life, of course. But since I don’t live there, I can deal with it.
Colt McCoy was a star quarterback at Texas with a Texan’s name. He played for the Jim Ned High School Indians in Tuscola, Texas. Tuscola is three miles from Ovalo, seven miles from Buffalo Gap, eight miles from Lawn, and 205 miles from Austin.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
But Corsicana is 55 miles south of Dallas. It has about 25,000 residents. It has produced NFL players, country music stars, and some rapper named Spice 1.
That doesn’t sound quaint or romantic. I guess it could be roughneck, but I want a town that is at least three hours from any sort of civilization, where you can get a mouthful of dust on any given windy afternoon in the 95-degree heat.
In fact, Mildred brutalized everyone in the regular-season, even teams not named the Bulldogs. They won their first nine games by an average score of 55-4.
The Eagles were 13-0 when they faced Cisco in a Texas Class 2A Division II championship semifinal, but lost 35-28. The Loboes rushed for 405 yards, so it wasn’t Shimonek’s fault. Slick Nic threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns in that game. Well, his last pass was intercepted in the end zone as Mildred tried to tie the game as time expired, but it was a Hail Mary.
It sounds like it was quite a game.
Cisco went on to lose 36-35 to the Refugio Bobcats in the 2A D2 title game. That must have been a slobberknocker, too.
I’d prefer that Shimonek came from Cisco, 136 miles west of Dallas, or Refugio, which is down in southeast Texas by Corpus Christi, a fairly short trip from Mexico. But kids usually don’t choose where they grow up.
It does encourage me that Shimonek’s only other offer to this point had been from Lamar. That makes the story (I’m all about the story) a lot better if he turns out to be the next Colt McCoy.
And Nic Shimonek is a pretty good name, too. There hasn’t been a Nic or a Shimonek I’m aware of who has been a storybook quarterback, and it’s always a better story (I already told you, I’m all about the story) if you’re an original.