New year, new team, new normal

Lions score first touchdown at new MISD stadium

Sydney Beck, Samantha Richards, Ally Tauber

Ellisha Stokes, Sports Editor

Lions quarterback Kelvin Thomas lined up to throw the ball, the crowd watched as he ducked and ran the ball in for a 9-yard scamper. Thomas had scored the first ever touchdown in the new MISD stadium in the Crosstown Showdown game against North’s Bulldogs.

“Scoring the first touchdown in the stadium was awesome,” Coach Marcus Shavers said. “I wish we would have gotten to score more, but anytime you get to come out and score a touchdown it’s exciting and the fact that it was the first one at the stadium will definitely be a great memory.”

Despite having the momentum of the first touchdown, the Lions fell short to the Bulldogs 31-13 in the first game ever to be played in the MISD Stadium.

“It is an honor to have the first win in the stadium by our name,” North Coach Mike Fecci said. “It was a super exciting atmosphere and the crowd was electric, I knew Bulldog Nation would come out.”

Defensive end Mitchell Tyler said he was glad to have the opportunity to play in the new stadium.

“Playing in the stadium was a really cool experience,” Tyler said. “Not many people can say they got to open a multi-million dollar stadium playing high school football. It was a great feeling to see so many people there and have such a huge stage to play on.”

The stadium had a turn out of about 10,000 people for the Crosstown Showdown season opener.

“I was surprised that the turn out wasn’t more,” Coach Shavers said. “I really thought that the opening of that stadium would bring in over 12,000 people, but it was an electric atmosphere.”

Golden girl Adlyn Larson said that the atmosphere in the stands was amazing.

“I think everyone was just super excited to see the team play in the new stadium,” Larson said. “Especially since it was against our sister school, McKinney North. Everyone participated in the chants and always responded to what the situation was on the field with loud cheers.”

Middle Linebacker Jack Vinson said he was in awe at the new stadium.

“I feel like it was just an entire experience in simplest terms,” Vinson said. “I just truly had a blast looking up at the giant concrete bleachers and seeing all those faces. Even the replay screen had me in awe. It was such a good atmosphere with all those people and the student section was less than 20 yards away from me.”

Middle Linebacker Nick Simpson said he felt blessed that the Lions are able to play on the new groundbreaking venue.

“Personally I feel that the stadium couldn’t be any better,” Simpson said. “I think it turned out beautifully, and I think it’s going to help usher in a new era of MISD athletics as a whole. At the same time it’s easy to get caught up in the visuals of the stadium, but at the end of the day the field is 100 yards long, just like any other, and we’ve got to play to own it.”

Even though the Lions practiced in the new stadium before the game, they were still impressed by the new stadium.

“Playing at the stadium made me just want to enjoy the atmosphere, the opportunity,” Tyler said. “Coach Shavers told us the past few days to feed off of the atmosphere, but not get caught up in the hype. That was my goal mentally, to play the game for what it was – to focus on what I needed to do.”

Despite having lost to North Simpson said they aren’t letting one game get them down.

“A lot of people are trying to label our season as a let down based off of one game,” Simpson said. “But I know our coaching staff and our players well enough to know that we have a lot more in store for everyone who doubted us this year.”