The Lions have been playing football since 2012, but didn’t finish with a winning record or state championship appearance until this fall. They used 30 players during their 10-2 campaign and TAPPS Division IV state runner-up finish.
“We definitely set the bar high,” said head coach Clint McDonald. “We talked about the kids who had come before them, and put the foundation down for this program. It was a lot of fun to build on that, and see the excitement around it.”
This was McDonald’s first year with the program, and 21st season of coaching. His experience, which included previous stops at New Caney and The Woodlands Christian Academy, guided his players in the right direction, and resulted in his sixth trip to a state championship game.
“That experience is huge,” said McDonald. “That’s what I leaned on. I think it’s big that your kids see that even in the biggest moments, there’s no fear in your eyes.”
Lions’ players bought into the coaching staff’s plans, so a legacy was left. That was most evident on offense.
“Our entire offensive line – Carter Jones, Robbie Yanko, Isaac Beeman, Kobe McDade and Logan Mace – was really the backbone of our team,” said McDonald. “It allowed quarterback Jared May and our running backs, Dion Pinkard and Jay Smith, to do some work back there.”
The line not only protected four-year player May, but also gave him enough time to find receivers Hayden Crowder and Jack Granack downfield.
“We had a good group of young men,” said McDonald. “They really jelled together.”
The future is definitely bright at Legacy, even with nine seniors departing. The team can take the next step towards a championship in 2018 because it’ll feature experienced upperclassmen, including seniors Crowder, Granack, Pinkard and Smith.