The next day we played musical gates at the Denver Airport when our flight was delayed and a group of red-shirted high school boys made all three changes with us. I finally got close to read the printing on the shirts - "Meeteetse Fighting Longhorns". What? Meeteetse? A Wyoming football team going to Texas? Unheard of. And to think that I had just heard of Meeteetse - population 327 - just south of Cody, Wyoming. And going to Robert Lee, Texas (population 1049) of all places.
The coaches of the two teams had met at something like a football camp and made a plan. After months and months of fund raising, which included building a mile of fence for a rancher, the six-man team's dream was turning to reality. Their ages probably spanned four years. They came in all shapes, sizes and athletic abilities. These well-behaved young men wore naturally faded jeans, scruffy boots, and a little peach fuzz on the chin. I imagine that not only can they play football but can also rope a calf, skin an elk, and shoot a coyote. Who knows - they may even carry shotguns in their pick-up trucks.
This team that practices in 80 degree weather under the backdrop of the the Beartooth Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, and the Tetons were headed straight to triple digit heat, and a town whose water supply has completely dried up. The host team is another gritty group of kids who live in rugged rocky West Texas ranch country. They can sheer a sheep, ride a horse, and chop down a cedar tree. They too can rope a calf, skin a deer,and shoot a coyote. Who knows - they may even carry shotguns in their pick-up trucks.
As there is no lodging in Robert Lee, the guests will be staying in the homes of their opponents. Before going back home, they will attend classes together for a day.
AND - get this - Robert Lee, Texas residents did their own fund raisers to get those guys here.
The Friday night lights are probably turned off by now and the score board is dark. But no matter what the score was - they are all winners! ALL. Both teams. Both towns.
Let's send up a big "YEE HAW" to the Longhorns and the Steers for good news and hope for the future of America!
(from the Park County School District #16 website)