TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Head coach Jeff Riordan was wearing a turkey suit, and Christmas music playing through the stadium speakers, on the Thanksgiving day practice for the Chapel Hill Bulldogs.
“All week the kids have been asking me, are you going to wear that turkey suit? absolutely guys, I’ll look silly to make it fun for ya’ll,” said coach Riordan. “I love these guys.”
“It brings the atmosphere back and it’s fun watching coach Rio dress up like a turkey,” said Tyson Berry. “We get to slap him around and stuff and him just being him being coach Rio.”
“Cracks us up every day man every time we see it, it just sets the mood man it makes us want to come out here and just work hard man,” said linebacker J.K. Davis.
While the mood was laid back, the Dogs understand the challenge in front of them Friday night, when they will take on rival, and district champion Kilgore in the third round of the playoffs, which is why their league has earned the name, District of Doom.
“It’s a testament to how tough this district is and just surviving and getting in the playoffs is huge because you may make a little bit of a run just because of the talent coming out of your district,” said Riordan.
“This time I think we’re prepared, we practiced hard throughout the week, hit each other and stuff, fly around in practice but it’s going to be a great game Friday,” said Berry.
While the workout Thursday was mainly a walkthrough, more importantly, it was a chance to spend just a little more time, with their football family.
“It means a lot because we are basically family up here man, we’re always together,” said Davis. “We’re here every day and just to come up here this morning and be with the guys it’s a great feeling.”
“After you lose in the playoffs, it’s a totally different season it’s a totally different team so you’ve only got a few more opportunities even if you play in the state championship to enjoy this brotherhood we have here,” said Riordan.
So as we prepare for a monster Friday night of high school football playoffs, the Dogs would like to wish all of East Texas a happy Thanksgiving.
Chapel Hill and Kilgore will kick off Friday at 8:00 p.m. from Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.