It was the mid-’90s all over again when 60 middle-aged Longhorn football players took the field at Alfred J. Loos Stadium this past summer. The athletes ordered matching Nike jerseys and shorts for the occasion. Four cheerleaders chanted V-I-C-T-O-R-Y. Coach Chas Briscoe led the old boys onto the field, congratulating them on the men they had become.
The scene was out of a high school football playbook. “The guys played rough like they were still in high school, and they are so competitive,” says Angela Baird Arredondo, who was a W.T. White Longhorn cheerleader in 1994.
She balanced a fellow former cheerleader on her shoulders during the game.
“There were lots of tumbles, lots of falls, lots of tackles, and it was supposed to be flag football. I cannot believe no one got seriously injured.”
It was current W.T. White athletic director and coach Tony Johnson, along with alumnus Samori Brown, who proposed a “flag-football” reunion as a way to inspire Longhorns from their generation to support the school and its students. They plan to make it an annual event.
Meet some of the reunion-goers, what they were like in high school and how they live now.
Coach Chas Briscoe
Job: Football coach from 1989 until 2003, followed by years as a strength and conditioning coach.
Favorite memory: “I am just so honored that I had a chance to impact lives and give back positive energy.”
What it was like to be back on the football field again: “The flag football game brought out more emotions than I have the ability to put into words. It was a chance to rejoice, to rehash, to go back and relive some of the greatest moments of being a part of the W.T. White Longhorns. We shared a lot of tears. They felt like they were 18 again — until they pulled their hamstrings.”
Why the bond between coach and players is so special: “They went out and showed love. It was love and respect that I have never seen in my lifetime shared among teammates. And race, creed, color had nothing to do with it; they were just brothers.”
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