Blanco County News
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To the 2001 State Champs...
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 • Posted October 27, 2011 • Updated October 27, 2011 10:06 AM

This letter is addressed to the Blanco community and most especially to the members of the 2001 State Championship football team,

The 10 years that have passed since we were together on that cold, wet and wonderful night in Waco back in December 2001 have somehow managed to slip by ...yet the years have done little to dim the memories of the journey that took us all from the doorstep of the championship ion 2000 to the absolute pinnacle of success and achievement the following year.

Tonight is a celebration of a single team; however, I find it difficult for myself to celebrate only one year in the history of Blanco High School football ...for the success achieved by the 2001 State Champions might never have been possible without the sacrifice and commitment of each of the young men who preceded them. Though this is a celebration of a very special championship team, I offer my most sincere thanks and gratitude to each and every one of you who proudly wore the blue and gold during the period I was associated with the Blanco Panthers. Not a day passes that I don’t give thanks for each of you and for the special ways which you touched not only my life, but that of my family.

To the members of the 2001 State Championship team, as the years have passed, you have probably come to realize just how very rare and special it is to be called a State Champion. It is a title that you will carry forever and one that can never be taken from you. Of the hundreds of thousands of young men who put on the pads each year in this great state, only a select few ever get to hoist that wooden trophy over their heads and proclaim that they are truly Number One.

You played the game the way that it was meant to be played. You played with class and you displayed pride in everything that you did. You made your coaching staff and the entire community proud every time you took the field and for all of this we are eternally grateful.

In the days that follow the excitement of this weekend; after you have had the opportunity to bask in the glory of your accomplishments ...I hope that you will allow yourself the opportunity to sit back and to reflect upon the journey that led to that special evening – December 16, 2001. Allow yourself to think back to hot summer mornings at Ultra Quest or to the excitement of moving into your new high school and the opportunity to break in brand new weight equipment. Remember that night in Waco, but please do not forget the journey that you took and the ever important process of becoming a champion.

I think back to a sign that someone placed on the fence behind the visitor’s bleachers of Panther Stadium at the end of the 2001 season – by strategically sticking styrofoam cups in the chain link. The message was very simple and directed to our players. It simply said “Thanks for the ride.” Those cups in the fence said it all ...and that is how I want to close this letter to all of you – to the players on the 2001 squad and to all who I had the pleasure to coach ...and to the wonderful people of Blanco, “Thanks for the ride!” God bless you all.

Brian Emerson

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