Former Tyler Lions are motivated to lead TJC through COVID-19 delayed spring football season

Local Sports

TYLER, Texas (KETK) — You could feel the excitement in the air Monday afternoon on the Tyler Junior College practice field, game week is finally here for Apache football.


“Man, I haven’t heard its game week for a long time, since the pandemic, and everybody is real riled up,” said sophomore guard Chance Billington.


“Back when everything happened, we were ready to play then it got moved back a couple of months and we were all bummed out but just kept sticking with it,” said sophomore running back Roderick Hawkins.


“Gonna be a lot of fun, a lot of afternoon kickoffs this spring but we are looking forward to just giving these guys the opportunity to go out there and perform,” said head coach Thomas Rocco.


Two of those ready to hit the field are former Tyler High Lions, Billington, and Hawkins, who are still motivated by their senior year with Cujo when they fell short in the state quarterfinals back in 2018.


“We had a good run senior year, we were going full, and everything has to come to an end, and to just be back in Tyler just playing ball it’s like I get to relive everything again,’ said Billington.


“It just means a lot when the local talent wants to be here, wants to be an Apache, and get a few more fans in the crowd with those local guys here,” said Rocco.


Now the wait is over, and Tyler will look to turn this unorthodox spring, into an unforgettable season.


“We’re just ready to play and it’s finally here, like I said, it was a long time ago, but it came fast so we’re ready for it,” Hawkins.


TJC kicks off the season this coming Saturday against Navarro College in Corsicana.

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