Team bonds over pasta at Grace Alive Church

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Members of the Liberty Hill football team enjoy a pasta dinner at Grace Alive Church on Tuesday. The team uses the meal to relax and bond after a tough practice. (Kathy Canady Photo)

Members of the Liberty Hill football team enjoy a pasta dinner at Grace Alive Church on Tuesday. The team uses the meal to relax and bond after a tough practice. (Kathy Canady Photo)

By TAYLOR GRAFFT

Each week the Liberty Hill Panthers hard work on the football field is rewarded with a giant plate of spaghetti—or maybe some sopapilla cheesecake.

Anywhere there’s food, there’s usually a high school football team. The Liberty Hill football team is no exception, but it’s much more than just free food. It’s team bonding and a chance to have fun and relax.

This week leading up to the Liberty Hill-Burnet playoff game, the team met at Grace Alive Church following a practice to socialize, eat and have fun.

Normally during the regular season and each Wednesday the team meets at a senior’s house whose parents have volunteered to open their home for a couple hours to their son and 55 of his closest friends.

During the post season, Grace Alive Church hosts the players and provides them with a place to socialize and eat spaghetti every Tuesday. Even though the dinner is at the church, the senior parents and other parent volunteers are still involved and help in the kitchen. “I think it brings us together more as a team,” said senior lineman Jake Sanders.

“It makes us a family and a family eats together. We have fun together. We look forward to it. We’ll go extra hard in practice so we can eat more food at team dinners.”

As the senior relaxed and socialized with his teammates, he also had a few thoughts on the upcoming rivalry game against Burnet.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Sanders. “They don’t like us and we don’t like them. We’ve been having good practices. They’re going to throw a lot of stunts at our line and I feel like we’ll come out with the win in the end.”

Jacob Covington and Jason Reeves both added that their favorite dish is sopapilla cheesecake and that they like having the team dinners at parents’ houses that have pools so they can have swim parties.

Julie Covington, parent of senior Jacob Covington, shared her thoughts on the dinner and how it’s an important tradition. Mrs. Covington is also an employee of Burnet CISD, so this week is extra special for her as she is divided between work and family.

“During the regular season it rotates from each senior parents’ house, but during the playoffs it goes to a neutral site and everyone comes together to volunteer.”

Annie Pogue, mother of junior tight end Mason Herrin, was also volunteering at the dinner.

“It helps build team comradery and team spirit. It’s nice to have it at the church on Tuesday because it doesn’t put the burden on one parent,” she said.

“I think the boys seeing their parents here and serving food makes them feel special,” said Mrs. Covington. “They look forward to this and we ask them for requests each week. Some weeks it’s spaghetti and tacos, the next week it’s spaghetti and pigs in blanket.”

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