The NFL likes to say football is family.
Nowhere is that more true than at the high school level, where coaches often, eventually, get the chance to coach their own sons for a few glorious years. This year the Texoma area has several of those situations and those like them.
"It's really fun," says Windthorst senior Brady Tackett. "It's something that I'll probably never forget."
Tackett is enjoying what could be his final week of high school football practice. It's extra-special for him, because his head coach is also his dad. Chris Tackett is in his fifth season leading the Trojans, which means he's been Brady's head coach for his whole high school career.
"It's been special, just to be able to go through that," said the elder Tackett. "It's almost like 'Take a Kid to Work' every day."
They're not the only football family still in the playoffs in Texoma. Crowell coach Nathan Hayes coaches his sons, senior quarterback Tristen and sophomore Skyler.
Henrietta coach Byron West coaches his nephew, junior quarterback Zack West.
"It's great," says Coach West. "Of course I've known him growing up and how tough he was and the things he did as a youngster. So it's very special to see him grow and see him mature into the football player that we think he should be."
"It's fun," says the younger West. "It's a really close bond we have together. And he'll rip me just like he rips everyone else. He's still my coach, but we have a great bond together and he's awesome."
Over at Notre Dame, assistant coach Hunter Quintero coaches his cousins, senior Clay McElroy and junior Devyn Quintero.
"It's kinda cliche, but you get to see them grow up," said Hunter, a former standout for the Knights himself. "And you're a part of them growing up."
"It's a blessing, man," said McElroy, a first-cousin of Hunter's. Growing up, watching Hunter play football here, same school, and just always looking up to him, and him being a real big inspiration for me, having him as a coach is just awesome."
One important part of the coach-family dynamic is finding the right balance between the two.
"It's kinda hard to distinguish," said Quintero, who despite sharing the surname is actually a third-cousin of Hunter's. "But usually it's just if you're at practice or not, if you're at the game or not, or if you're talking about football or not."
"I guess while we're at Grandma's house, that's 'Cousin Hunter' and stuff like that," the older Quintero said. "But when we get out here I've got to be as much of a 'Coach Hunter' as you can."
"It's a big part of our lives, sports and athletics," said Coach Tackett. "So I mean it comes up every day. But at home it's more like a father-and-son situation and out here it's more like a coach-and-player situation."
"I like being [Zack's] uncle," said Coach West. "It's fun. He's a great kid and has a great personality. So we try to keep that separated and we try to concentrate on football here."
For the players, it's all about spending time with family.
"We talk about it all the time," Brady Tackett said. "We game plan together, and it's really fun."
"There's more to life than just football sometimes," Zack West said. "So we just try to enjoy life and have some fun outside of school."
Four Texoma teams are in action Friday. We'll have complete highlights of all four games on Newschannel 6 at 6 and 10!
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