Chan Amie + 12 Other Waskom Seniors Attempt To Lock Down Big Numbers In Class 3A Division II State Championship Game
WASKOM -- Fourteen and 15-year-olds will never get tired of seeing news crews arrive on their campus. That's just a fact.
It's another opportunity for them to find themselves on the 10 o'clock news if they pause the broadcast at just the right time and search the frame. Or, in this case, at least get into the fringe of a photograph.
One wants more.
"I am Chan Amie," he shouts while waiting to get picked up from Waskom High School. "I'm Chan Amie. Over here!"
That sums up the legacy Waskom senior fullback and linebacker Chan Amie is leaving behind. He'll play his final high school game at 8 p.m. Thursday -- the Class 3A Division II state championship -- against Franklin inside the Houston Texans' NRG Stadium.
Amie is East Texas' third-leading rusher. He's also the region's second-leading tackler.
Win or lose, he could own both those statistical categories by the end of the state championship game. The tackles for loss and sacks subcategories could be his as well.
Amie's play has dictated that he needs to be featured in Waskom game highlights and stories. More than that, he has compiled a list of college football scholarship offers he prefers to keep secret.
Good luck getting Amie to acknowledge that he makes a case as East Texas' best pound-for-pound football player though.
"Sheesh," Amie said after having the list of all the different statistical categories he could own after Thursday read off to him. "I just don't want let my teammates, coaches and town down."
He needs 255 rushing yards to surpass Alto athlete Keenen Johnson's 2,669 East Texas-best yards. He needs three sacks to surge past the two-way tie between Alto's Mikkah Hackett and Gilmer's Tristian Olivares' 11. Twenty-four tackles to move ahead of West Rusk linebacker Joe Wright's 210.
None of the current leaders of those categories can defend themselves. Waskom is the region's last surviving team.
Tackles for loss is a bit trickier. Amie would need a plus-five margin to leapfrog teammate Keileon Johnson's current lead of 47 takedowns behind the line of scrimmage.
Can the two-way standout hit all of those targets in his final game?
Does it really matter at this point?
There are a lot of two-way players in the area with impressive numbers on both sides of the ball. Only one can plausibly finish at the top of a chart both offensively and defensively.
"I just wanted to work hard," Amie said. "I wanted to help pick up some the slack for all the seniors and skill we lost last year."
Waskom's storylines barely begin there. Twelve other seniors with strong contributions also will meet the end of the road Thursday.
But there's still a lot in play.
The Wildcats can surpass the Gilmer winning streak of 30 games that ended last week in the Class 4A Division II state semifinals with a 31st straight win Thursday. That would allow the program to not only be defined as the region's best over a three-year span with a 45-2 record but also a two-year span with a 31-1 record.
Beating Franklin by a single point would give the program its first perfect season ever. More importantly, it secures a second straight state championship.
"It means the world to me," senior quarterback Dylan Harkrider, the team's second-leading rusher and a 1,000-yard passer, said. "I got hurt in the middle of last year and didn't get to play, but I gained just the mental part of it. Just to get all that experience and watch the guys win it meant the world to me and the fans. Now we have the opportunity to win it a second time."
And to claim even more local history.
"This senior class is the first we've had for a total of six years," sixth-year head coach Whitney Keeling said. "They didn't lose a game in seventh grade, lost one in eighth grade on a two-point conversion and then Chan and (linebacker) Mike Reason have been on varsity since their freshman year.
"They have done so many miraculous things that they will leave a legacy in this program for their kids, their grandkids. It's almost too good of a story to be true. How many programs are 0-10 when a new staff comes in and then in six years have played in the semifinals, finals and finals?"