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Gilmer poised to bring home state championship

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Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 9:58 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 11:25 PM CST
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GILMER, Texas (KLTV) - The gloomy weather during Monday’s practice for the Gilmer Buckeyes did not reflect the overall mood. Players and coaches were upbeat and excited to still have their championship dreams alive. They know all too well how quickly they can be crushed from being in this spot a year ago.

“So all that we learned from having to deal with the difficult loss and it taught us a lot about the areas we have to fix,” said coach Alan Metzel. “Areas we have to improve in to be able to play at that level in week 16, so we’ve made personnel changes, we’ve made practice changes, we’ve done certain things that hopefully will put us in a better position to do well on Friday.”

Gilmer has looked like a team on a mission, ready to avenge that loss. Now they are in place to do that as they take on the unbeaten China Spring Cougars for all the marbles on Friday. That’s the team that beat Carthage to end their run to the championship.

The Bulldogs were seemingly the only kryptonite for the Buckeyes, who now can focus on a new test in the Cougars. Rohan Fluellen was on the team last year that just missed the mark, and he doesn’t take the second chance lightly.

“I’m really pumped to be able to go back to the AT&T Stadium and be able to play,” said Fluellen. “You know not everybody gets to make it and not everybody has a chance to play in that big of a spotlight.”

Whether the game is played in a cow pasture or in one of the NFL’s premier stadiums, the Buckeyes will need Fluellen’s production in the passing game. Last week alone, the junior had nine receptions for 186 yards and a touchdown. If he does well as Brandon Tennison’s number one target, it’s safe to assume then that Tennison is winning the quarterback battle with Major Bowden of China Spring.

While the week of prep is still young, you can’t blame Gilmer for thinking about the “what if’s,” especially if it all goes right.

“It would mean everything.” said Fluellen. “It would mean so much to be able to bring the trophy and the ring back to Gilmer. You know, the city is just so supportive of the team.”

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