Back in 1965 and way before author Buzz Bissinger breathed national life into Odessa Permian‘s (Odessa, TX) Friday Night Lights, U.S. Congressman Mike Conaway was on the ground floor of MOJO*. Conaway, who is a Republican serving Texas’ 11th congressional district in Washington, D.C., was an offensive and defensive lineman on Odessa Permian’s first state championship team in 1965.
In a recently published story on FootballMatters.org, a part of the National Football Foundation, Rep. Conaway said legendary head coach Gene Mayfield taught him things on the football field that he carries with him to this day in our nation’s capital.
“He taught us to never quit. He taught us that everyone is going to get hit, everyone is going to get beat at some point, but that is not what matters. We learned what’s important is getting back up, getting back in the huddle, and going out there and going headhunting the very next time out. Nobody but you can make you quit.”
Conaway added, “You come to the fight as prepared as you possibly can be. You subjugate yourself and whatever personal ambitions you might have for the betterment of the team and you never quit. I think that all applies not just in athletics, which obviously end for everyone at a certain point, and in your every day life.”
To read the complete story on Mike Conaway, click here to go to FootballMatters.org.
*Odessa Permian’s website states that MOJO wasn’t yelled until 1967, but let’s face it, the 1965 state championship paved the way for the legendary football program that’s won state titles in ’65, ’72, ’80, ’84 and ’91.
FootballMatters.org was created by the National Football Foundation and is the home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football.