Mums were hanging and jingling around students’ necks. The Lamar Vikings, in their white, roughed up jerseys, shared the field with the homecoming court, dressed in their sparkly formal attire.
Seniors Caleb Phillips, representing the varsity football team, and Elle Magruder, representing the varsity volleyball, were crowned homecoming king and queen at halftime. The Lamar Vikings made their second win of the season, starting off a winning streak.
Magruder felt the large encouragement and excitement her family had for her.
“As I won I didn’t realize I had won,” Magruder said. “I looked up and asked my dad who they called and he started laughing and said that it was me. I just laughed the entire time not only because I was nervous but because it was super unexpected.”
Similar to Magruder, Phillips didn’t have winning at the top of his priorities but he appreciated having the experience.
“But winning will be a cool story I can tell my kids one day,” Phillips said. “I was genuinely shocked ‘cause I didn’t think I was gone’ win.”
However, he did anticipate the team’s win for the game. The Vikes stayed in the lead throughout the entire game. Within the last four minutes, they were tied 17-17 with Grand Prairie and both teams were fighting for the win.
“When we were tied I knew our defense would come through and all we had to do as an offense was put points on the board,” Phillips said.
The Vikings then took the lead once again with a field goal by three points.
“The field goal unit had been waiting for an opportunity like this, and they delivered all the way from the snap to the hook to the kick,” junior kicker Blake Ford said. “I can’t even explain the adrenaline I felt after the game, it felt so good ending our losing streak.”
Winning 20-17, the Vikes took their second win of the season, hoping to create a new winning streak.
“I feel great coming off the homecoming win, it was a big booster that we needed,” senior running back Anthony Williams said.
The following Saturday, they kept their momentum and won their game against Sam Houston 42-21.
“It was just a business trip,” Phillips said. “We went over there and took care of business and came right back.”
In 2019, the Vikings had no problem staying undefeated, but 2020 has yet again complicated life.
“This year there’s no break, it’s a fight for all four quarters,” Williams said.
Naturally, covid has hindered the team’s performance in the season, limiting the access to equipment for preparation since summer. In four out of seven games, the Vikes battled it out but lost by a few close points.
“The most challenging part of these games is the fact that they’re a must-win at this point, so you have to give every ounce of what you have ‘cause if you lose, you’re out basically,” Phillips said.
Off to a rough start, the Vikes competed in close games through most of the season, wins slipping from their fingertips at the last second. These last two wins have turned everything around, creating a light at the end of the tunnel.
“That just showed us that we can do it and have what it takes to get a win,” Williams said. “So winning both those games really boosted our confidence and now we plan on keeping that going.”