Sunday, November 28, 2010

Abilene Says Goodbye to the Sims Era

On Saturday, Abilene football had its own trail of tears. It stretched from Arlington to Abilene along Interstate 20.

Cooper and Abilene fans traveled the two-and-half hour long trek on along trail. On most Saturday nights, I-20 would be virtually empty from the Metroplex to West Texas. On November 27, there were red lights as far as the eyes could see. Some vehicles sported red shoe polish that said “Go Coogs”; others sported Abilene High stickers. Inside those cars were fans sad to say goodbye to another season.

With my wife asleep during most of the drive, I had the radio off and time to reflect. I looked back on two great seasons – and I reflected on the end of an era: the Sims era.

Herschel and Ronnell Sims helped put Abilene back on the national map. Sure, they couldn’t and didn’t do it alone. But let’s be honest: they were key instruments that brought West Texas football and Abilene to a place it hadn’t been in half a century.

Because of their skills, football in Abilene experienced a state championship, two games on ESPN networks, a new relationship with Nike, and a one-hour feature on MTV. Let’s not forget we’re talking about a high school football team. That’s pretty darn impressive.

Over the last two years, we’ve watched Ronnell Sims find ways to win in games the Warbirds should’ve lost. We’re watched Herschel Sims run for 200 yards plus in games where the opposing defense knew he’d be running – yet couldn’t stop him. We’ve watched the guys get battered by the opposition and continue playing when most people would’ve sat on the sidelines.

The Sims cousins are winners. And Abilene will miss them.

I look forward to rooting for them over the next four years as they move on to the next stage of their careers. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the both of them. No matter where each ends up, I’ll be cheering for them. I know I’m not alone.

In closing, I say simply say thanks. I thank you for giving of yourselves. I thank you for helping take Big Country football to the next level. I thank you for being good citizens and inspiring others who will come after you.

Abilene won’t be the same without you.


  1. I would also like to thank Ronnell, Herschel and the rest of the Abilene Eagles football squad for taking us on such a thrilling ride the past two years. You all are great ambassadors for the sport of football and community.

  2. Austin,
    Thanks for sharing this, these two young men are incredible role models both on and off the field. I know without a doubt their future will be incredibly bright, and I too look forward to watching them experience success in the years to come. It will also be fun supporting Ronnell's two other brothers who will continue to play for Abilene High as well.

  3. May I say we have been BLESSED to have been on the Road of Life with these two young men and their teammates. You will be remembered and followed through all of your endeavors.

    God Speed,

    Mrs. Genette Edmond