By now most people know of the heartbreaking end to the McKinney Boyd volleyball team’s most successful season in school history. The loss to Coppell High School in the 5A State Championship series put a damper on an otherwise extraordinary season. Supporting the 2011 5A State Runner-Up Lady Broncos has been an interesting, exciting “ride” both literally and figuratively!
My wife, Rebecca, and I were “lucky” enough to chaperone the student fan bus to San Marcos. This being Rebecca’s 1st year at Boyd, what a great way to build relationships with students and staff members! Fortunately for Rebecca and I, we were not alone in our enthusiastic volunteerism, as three other brave Boyd staff members joined us on that November 18th adventure.
The adventure began as forty three students greeted Jerry, our bus driver, anticipating the day of celebration ahead. It was difficult to determine if the bus ride or the excused absence from class was more appealing to the students on the “Yellow Dog.” Unfortunately, for fellow staff member Tom Walter, boarding the bus last held one reward, or punishment,…sitting at “the back of the bus” smack in the midst of the Lady Broncos’ most devoted fans. As Tom maneuvered his way to the back, BHS staff member, Danny Lowe, offered his cell phone number “just in case” Tom needed help during the trip.
Once loaded we noticed several “high fives” and snickers from other BHS Administrators as they boarded their personal vehicles and pulled out of the parking lot ahead of us.
I settled into my seat, and I pulled the window down for a breeze and looked to the back of the bus where the restroom should have been…(sigh) I realized this could be a long trip! As we began our journey a female student inquired “how long will the trip take?” Trying to make a connection, I told her “It’s like Gilligans Island…(singing) “it’s a three hour tour!” The blank look on her face revealed two things: 1. She doesn’t know who Gilligan is and she does not have any idea about the three hour tour. 2. She learns I cannot sing. Her response was a simple “OMG;” she put her” ear buds” on and turned to fall asleep. No connection!
Our first stop was Carl’s Corner’s Truck Stop about 1/3 of the way to our final destination. Being responsible chaperones, we counted noses as a sea of Bronco Red invaded the truck stop. Thirty minutes later the bus departed and Carl’s Corner will never be the same again, thanks to BHS’ young fans.
The bus hit Austin city limits at the height of rush hour traffic. Ordinarily young people would have become restless and begun complaining; instead, the Lady Bronco Entourage enthusiastically waved to neighboring vehicles and pointed out local landmarks and historic sites to each other. The lack of cool air or a restroom became a small inconvenience when I realized that several of the students were excited about seeing the State Capital for the first time.
With San Marcos and Straham Coliseum less than an hour away, it was time to rally the troops. In anticipation of what was ahead, Allen Parr, BHS math instructor, began distributing pompoms, spirit signs and Bronco beads to the enthusiastic group. Rebecca, realizing time was running out, pulled out her sponges, brushes and face paint to begin a “moving” work of art in the back of the bus. It didn’t take long before visible signs of Lady Bronco support was appearing from head to toe on this special group of fans.
As the bus pulled into the parking lot, the finishing touches of paint were being applied. The paint clad group made their way into the coliseum and took their place among other Bronco faithful. The scene was maddening as the students cheered each Bronco point with unbridled enthusiasm.
The Lady Broncos were visibly encouraged by the support and excitement of the fans. After a hard fought 3-1 victory over Cy Falls on Friday night, fans were rewarded for their efforts by meeting the players on the court and taking photos with those who came to cheer. The students realized they had been an integral part of BHS history.
Questions about a return trip the next day were raised. Several students even volunteered to sleep on the bus in order to participate in Saturday’s Championship series. “Oh to be young again,” I thought! But it was time to begin the trip back to McKinney.
Unfortunately a return trip to Saturday’s final championship was not to be taken this year…but who knows what 2012 might bring? The Oaxacas stand ready to “board that bus” again when duty calls!
by TSB contributing writer, Harvey Oaxaca