Many football players describe a team bond as a brotherhood, and Shoemaker’s players agree.
Earlier this month, on parents’ night, one senior needed a stand-in parent for the pregame presentation, so a group of his teammates and head coach Toby Foreman stepped in.
The Grey Wolves may be a young group, but the team chemistry is what continues to drive them forward each week, including Thursday.
Typically, a high school coach doesn’t run through the tunnel and onto the field with the team, but Foreman led the Grey Wolves as they ran onto the field prior to hosting Temple in Shoemaker’s District 12-6A opener.
The Wildcats quickly pounced on the Grey Wolves, constructing a 28-0 lead by halftime.
“It’s not a big senior group,” Foreman said, “but Cameron Starling, Claude Williams, Isaac Pettit and Joshua Thomas stood up at halftime and they talked to the team.
“They talked about the underclassman on this team and that the seniors need to set a good example for them, and I feel like we did that in the second half.”
The speech lit a fire among the Grey Wolves, and a fourth-quarter pass from senior quarterback Jaydin Dixon to Williams put the Grey Wolves on the board.
“(Dixon) got in the game,” Foreman said, “and he did a good job at the end.”
From film sessions to injury assessments, Shoemaker has its eyes set on moving forward as they prepare to face Belton.
“We’ve got to get back in there and watch a bunch of film,” Foreman said. “We’ve got an extra day. That’s always a plus, because we’re going to be ready for them with an extra day to prepare.”
Each week, Foreman is impressed with the continuous growth he sees in his athletes.
“I do feel like we’re starting to click more on offense,” he said.
The Grey Wolves had 134 yards on 30 carries Thursday and totaled 94 yards on 10 of 22 passes.
“Even though we didn’t score many points,” Foreman said, “we had a lot of first downs and not a lot of three-and-outs. We just had a lot of drops and mental errors in the skill positions.
“But I think our (offensive) line is getting better every week. With that being said, any time your front is getting better, your team is getting better.”