BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - We'll start this New Year with a few notes of thanks and congratulations. In most communities in Texas, the accomplishments of high school kids bring a sense of pride that is hard to describe.
Congratulations to the College Station Cougars, Steve Huff and his staff, for bringing a high school state championship trophy home to Bryan-College Station. We've honored a number of state champions through the years at KBTX, not just football.
But in that sport, the last football state championship was won by the Tigers of Consolidated and Ross Rogers – the year they brought home the hardware in 1991. We've celebrated in the Brazos Valley with Navasota, Bremond, Allen Academy, Huntsville and others. As Coach Huff and the crew will tell you, winning state is something special.
What I've learned from being part of these remarkable journeys through the years is that eventually the physical make-up of these teams even out the deeper into the playoffs you get. It comes down more to the mental aspect of the game – and frankly, a little luck. The Cougars were prepared physically and mentally, starting with two losses against state powerhouse football teams.
But in the end, in Class 5-A, Division 2, there was no team in the state better than the College Station Cougars. Congratulations on a remarkable season.
KBTX is fortunate to hear from a lot of friends over the holiday season, hundreds of cards and e-mails from people and organizations. One "under the radar" group that is made up of just a lot of genuinely nice people. They send along this kind note with their card:
"On behalf of the Bryan College Station Model Railroad Society, thank you for the support and exposure to showcase our hobby and talented members."
And David – to you and your crew, we're honored. Thanks for taking time to send a note our way.
A big congratulations to Downtown Bryan, Sandy Ferris and the crew for an incredible New Years Eve Celebration in support of the restoration of the Queen Theater. It was quite the event at the Ice House downtown, a truly incredible venue – and if you haven't taken time to see it, you should. It is quite a bookend to the revitalization of Downtown Bryan.
The Queen is nearing a grand re-opening date, and thanks to the tireless efforts of Ben Hardeman, the Brazos Valley will have yet another attraction and venue available to further enhance an already solid economy. For the dedication to the Queen, we thank you.
While we'll return to a few not-so-nice emails next week, back to high school football for a moment. The Brazos Valley lost a legend over the holidays with the passing of Ray Akins, or "Coach" as he was known to so many young people he influenced over the years.
Coach Akins had retired after many years as an athletic director and football coach, devoting his time to his ranch in Robertson County, the First United Methodist Church of Franklin, and many other endeavors. After a storied, record-setting career as head coach of Texas powerhouse Gregory-Portland, he lived a little under the radar in the Brazos Valley.
And he leaves behind a lot of survivors, perhaps most notable these days is grandson Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. While we could spend time reviewing his accomplishments, I go back to a quote from an engineering friend of mine from many years ago: when we leave this earth, we're only remembered by how we treated people. Ray was a nice guy, and left this world, - and so many young people – better.
Be in touch anytime, your opinion, and this incredible community and all who call the Brazos Valley home – matter – to THIS family, of KBTX News 3.