12,000-plus under Texas lights

The 2004 movie “Friday Night Lights” is as real of a picture about Texas high school football as any movie comes, according to Eastern red-shirt sophomore linebacker Perry Maynard, who grew up in that environment.

Maynard, from Southlake, Texas, got to experience what moviegoers can only imagine being a part of in high school. He attended Carroll Senior High School where he was on the team that won 49 games in a row, as well as going 16-0 in 2006 to win the Class 5A state title.

There is no better high school football atmosphere than in Texas, according to Maynard. Sometimes, Maynard said, things get crazy.

“Everyone is in your face wanting to know how you are going to do,” Maynard said.

When the lights come on, Maynard said everyone in the town – and outside of the town – showed up to watch football. Maynard said at least 12,000 fans showed up to the games every Friday.

In his senior season, Maynard dislocated his shoulder, which cost him interest from some larger colleges, including Nebraska.

Maynard said recruitment worked out well for him though, as he is now happy with the Panthers; however, he did not expect to be playing for them.

“I sent out an e-mail to some people just to see what would happen,” Maynard said. “I didn’t expect to hear back but Roc (Bellantoni) asked if I was still available.”

On his visit to Eastern, Maynard said all of the people were nice, including Pierre Walters, who was a star defensive lineman for the Panthers at the time.

Maynard said people at Eastern were personable and were nice to him and his dad, Perry. The open arms Eastern offered was what sold Maynard, he said.

Even though he really liked Eastern, Maynard said he had been getting the impression from doctors, who told him he wouldn’t play anymore; however, he finally got the green light.

Maynard said he only gets back to Southlake on Christmas and for one month in the summer, because of the packed football schedule, but he said he is glad he ended up on a team that has won a conference championship.

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Alex McNamee can be

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