BELTON — It’s just one of several childhood memories, a delightful little story really, but it tells so much about Jefferson Fritz. It doesn’t have anything to do with the kind of football player he is today but, when pieced together with his beliefs and philosophies, it all fits to form a picture of a guy who attacks every aspect of life with an uncommon zeal.

WACO — Baylor players were on a knee in the middle of the practice field a couple of weeks ago as athletic director Mack Rhoades and coach Dave Aranda addressed them about the NCAA ruling in a case for things that happened before any of them arrived on campus.

There’s no denying that football roots run deep in Texas. From one-stop towns to sprawling cities alike, ask most locals about their high school loyalties and they’ll likely give the standard reply.

Around these parts, there’s faith, family and football, and not necessarily in that order.

GATESVILLE — One year after a winless campaign, Gatesville improved significantly in 2020 with a 4-6 record and a berth in the Class 4A Division II playoffs. If that same improvement trajectory holds, the Hornets could be looking at a special 2021 season.

Oftentimes when there is a head coaching transition in high school football, the emphasis is immediately placed on things such as “building a new culture” and “instilling a new philosophy.” Those phrases can sometimes serve as code language for the new regime wanting to do things completely …

The president of a university with a rich football tradition once quipped, “We want to build a university our football team can be proud of.” At Holy Trinity Catholic, head coach James Shelton wants to make sure the inverse is true as well.

LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY — It was a typical early September afternoon at Academy last fall. The Bumblebees had won their first two football games, matching the previous year’s win total, and busily prepped for a Week 3 matchup against Groesbeck.