As we first reported Monday night, our area 5A high-school football teams finally began practicing, including the Ray Texans.
With helmets on, these Ray coaches and players know they are now one step closer to playing their first game.
"These kids miss this stuff," said Ray Head Football Coach Craig Charlton. "And it's something I could see every day in the bounce of their step and smiles on their faces -- this is important to them."
And that includes one of the team’s newest members on the team.
Cole Dennis has established himself as one of the best basketball players in South Texas for the last three years.
He didn't want to finish his high-school career without playing at least one year of football.
"I played football my entire life up until high school, and it was always something that, kinda itched at me, and I felt like I needed to be out there,” the Texans’ tight end said. “And with the circumstances we are in, I might as well, and go give it a shot."
Charlton said it took some work to get Dennis on the football field.
"I have been trying to get him out (here) for three years and I finally got him out,” he said. “It's something that is a testimony to the hard work he puts in on the basketball court, and now he is going to show it on the football field."
And at 6-3, 225 lbs. he is a natural tight end. He's obviously a big target to throw the ball to, plus, his coaches said he has good blocking skills.
"It has been great being out here with some of these guys who I used to play with back in the day,” Dennis said. “It's kinda starting to feel the same, and I am hoping I can contribute in any way with some catches here and there, and just being a good teammate."
The Texans still have a few weeks to prepare for their opener on Sept. 25; they play host to Tuloso-Midway at Cabaniss Field.