LARUE, Texas (KETK) — Students from Larue and Poynor come together to form LaPoynor High School, and basketball runs deep in Flyer country.
“We grew up playing basketball over here and it’s everything we grew up playing and it’s just our passion over here at Lapoynor,” says senior Dijuan Whitehead.
“It’s just been part of my life and to come to this community and see how they embrace basketball and just love it and support it and it’s just such a wonderful feeling and to just know the support we have,” tells head coach Jim Reid.
With basketball meaning so much to this tight-knit community, the players are grateful for the sea of purple and white they see in the stands throughout their journey to state.
“Our fans and all the kids in our grade always talk about how excited they are for the games and we got people from all different cities so it means a lot,” said Senior Evan Almeida.
“It’s good to know that someone always has our back, if we win or lose they are always there when we go home,” adds sophomore Cort Reid.
Evan Almeida and Dijuan Whitehead are following in their family’s footsteps of making it to state.
Evan’s grandpa won state in 1972 and 1973 and Dijuan’s uncles won state in 1995.
“It actually does mean a lot because I follow in his footsteps and it’s making him proud and it’s making me happy because this year and last year when we made it to state, I looked up in the stands and saw him tearing up so it just means a lot,” declares Almeida.
“It means a lot to be able to follow in their footsteps and kind of be like them,” exclaims Whitehead.
“For those boys to see that and understand that and to have family members that have gone through that just gives them that much more ability to be successful,” explains coach Coach Reid.
Wyndel Stringfield, Almeida’s grandfather was also a state champion flyer and is also proud to see his grandson’s success throughout the years.
“Oh I’m proud, it made my eyes leak a little bit,” laughs Stringfield.
Evan and Dijuan’s families are continuing to give them advice as they look to make a run for a state title and cap off their flyer careers.
“Work hard, no days off, the lightest little thing can cause something bad so just always pay attention and work as hard as you can,” says Almeida.
“Just to never give up and give it your all and just play your game and do what you love,” tells Whitehead.
“We have told them many times that it’s going to be tough, everybody is going be trying to get you so just give it your all and play your best and you will be alright,” explains Wyndel.
All aboard the bus, the next stop is San Antonio.
The Flyers take on the Flatoina Bulldogs on Friday at 10:00 a.m.