At Guyer High School in Denton, Texas, Head Football Coach John Walsh wanted to recognize booster Tracy Radamacher for all her hard work. His solution didn't just affect the outcome of opening day--it entered Radamacher's son into the Wildcat record book.
by Kenny Berkowitz
Upon arriving in Denton, Texas, two years ago, Tracy Radamacher made an immediate impact on the Guyer High School Athletic Booster Club. While her son, Dominic, joined the basketball and football teams, Tracy took charge of spirit wear, becoming one of the Wildcats' most energetic, enthusiastic, dedicated supporters. She worked tirelessly to prepare for football season, stopping only when she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last month.
A few weeks later, while scouting opponents for the season, Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach John Walsh came up with a way to thank her. He'd let Dominic score the first touchdown--and the first points in the team's new 5A classification--in the season opener against Waxahachie.
"I thought about asking Tracy's permission," says Walsh. "But I trusted she'd understand it was in good faith, as an honest gesture of appreciation, and I thought it was important to keep it a surprise."
The next day, Walsh met with selected members of the offense to explain his strategy, becoming so emotional he could barely get his words out. The first time they had a chance to score, he wanted them to stop before reaching the goal line, when he'd remove the starting quarterback and send in backup Radamacher.
Everything went according to plan. On the opening possession, running back Treavon Walton advanced toward the goal before coming to a sliding stop on the one-yard line. That's when Walsh turned to the bench, and even though Radamacher didn't understand why, he executed a perfect quarterback sneak to enter the Guyer record books.
Back on the sidelines, Walsh explained, "That was for your mom," and handed Dominic the ball to give to Tracy. "It was a good gesture for a good person, and I'm glad we did it," says Walsh. "When I told him, Dominic teared up, and when I saw Tracy at halftime, she teared up, too."
The Wildcats went on to win 45-7, and Walsh was pleased with the results, calling it one of the easiest decisions he'd ever made as a coach. "Tracy has such a happy, outgoing personality, and she's taken our spirit wear to a new level," he says. "Our whole Guyer nation has grown because of the work she's done, and it was important to recognize the impact she's had on our program. There's a lot that goes into making our Friday nights special, and if we didn't have our boosters behind us, we'd be half the program we are."