Welcome to Grace Athletics
This is Cougar Football
2 Tim. 4:2 says “Preach the Word. Be prepared in season and out of season. Correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.” We host a Mom’s Clinic each year to teach a little football and cap it off with our Mom’s praying in every part of our stadium for everyone associated with a Friday night game as well as for our opponents. We have a team devotion before every game and your Cougar football team has been in the playoffs 8 years in a row, winning one district title, 3 Bi-District titles, and a regional championship.
Message from Coach Russell
Camp of Champs is a great experience for all of our student athletes. While we expect the summers to be full of family vacations, activities, and other trips, we strongly urge all of our athletes to attend as many sessions as possible in order to be the best version of themselves that they can be. We encourage attending college camps, etc. that can help them improve our athletes, but we also believe that Camp of Champs is a big part of their success in all of their activities.
Other football activities are listed below. If, as the summer moves along, some activities have to be altered, we will notify everyone as quickly as possible. Teams and individuals that reach their potential, do so by being intentional about being their best throughout the year.
Enjoy your summer and be prepared to be the BEST! See you soon!
2022 Important Dates to Remember
|Monday, May 30th – Thursday, June 2nd||No scheduled workouts for Camp of Champs|
|Monday, June 6th – Thursday, June 9th from 7:30 am – 9:00 am||
Camp of Champs Begins: Incoming 2022 HS and MS athletes. HS boys begin in the weight room and MS boys begin at field.
|Monday, June 13th – Thursday, June 16th from 7:30 am – 9:00 am||Camp of Champs –Continues at same times and places.|
|Monday, June 13th – Thursday, June 15th||Incoming 6th – 8th graders QB/WR Camp (8:00 am – 11:00 am) and Big Cat O-line Camp (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm)|
|Monday, June 20th – Thursday, June 23rd from 7:30 am – 9:00 am||Camp of Champs –Continues at same times and places.|
|Friday, June 24th – Saturday, June 25th (Time TBA)||State 7v7, Lineman challenge, and kickers at Waco’s Hot Soccer Complex|
|Monday, July 4th – Thursday July 7th||Holiday break for the entire week|
|Monday, July 11th – Thursday, July 14th from 7:30 am – 9:00 am||Camp of Champs –Continues at same times and places.|
|Monday, July 18th – Thursday, July 21st from 7:30 am – 9:00 am||
Camp of Champs –Last week; same times and places.
|Monday, July 25th – Thursday, July 28th||TAPPS Dead Week- no official activities|
|Saturday, July 30th from 9:00 am – 10:00 am||Football 101 for Moms|
|Monday, August 1st – Friday, August 5th from 7:30 am – 11:00 am||High school football practices|
|Saturday, August 6th at 9:00 am||Picture and Media Day for JV and Varsity. All JV and Varsity families are invited.|
|Monday, August 8th – Friday, August 13th (time TBA)||High school football practices; Teacher In-Service|
|Thursday, August 11th (time TBA)||Back to School Luau and Meet the Cougars|
|Monday, August 15th – Tuesday, August 18th (time TBA)||High school football practices
|Wednesday, August 17th||First Day of School|
|Friday, August 19th at 5:00 pm||JV/V Football Scrimmage v. Alba Golden
|Friday, August 12th at 5:00 PM||Alba Golden (Scrimmage)||Home|
|Thursday, August 18th at 5:00 PM||Sabine (Scrimmage)||Away|
|Friday, August 26th at 7:30 PM||Winona||Home|
|Friday, September 2nd at 7:30 PM||Wills Point||Away|
|Friday, September 9th at 7:30 PM||Brook Hill||Home|
|Friday, September 16th at 7:30 PM||Lone Oak||Away|
|Friday, September 23rd at 7:30 PM||Spring Hill||Home|
|Friday, September 30th||TBA||TBA|
|Friday, October 7th at 7:30 PM||Faith Christian||Away*|
|Friday, October 14th at 7:30 PM||Coram Deo||Home*|
|Friday, October 21st at 7:30 PM||Legacy Christian||Away*|
|Friday, October 28th at 7:30 PM||Bishop Dunne||Home* (GCS Homecoming)|
|Friday, November 4th at 7:00 PM||Dallas Covenant||Away|
MS & JV Football
Head Varsity Football Coach
Coach Russell has coached football for 30 years. He lives by the words in II Timothy 4:2 which states “There is no offseason!” He is married to the former Jana Crosby and the two graduated from the University of Houston in 1991. Tim and Jana have two daughters: Bailee and Macey. Macey attends Harding University, and Bailee was killed by a drunk driver in 2016. Coach Russell enjoys the team atmosphere that each great football team possesses.
Kendall has worked in the middle school since 2010 at Grace Community School. He has taught sixth grade P.E and coached high school baseball and football during his time at the school. Kendall has received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. He is happily married to Emily Fox and they both work with the student ministry at Grace Community Church.
Varsity Running Back Coach
Coach Gaston has been coaching football for 15 years, including serving as the Founder for FAST Football Camps, Inc., a ministry with the purpose to lead kids into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ by sharing the Gospel through football camps and clinics. Grant is a partner in the law firm, Gaston & Lindley, PLLC, where he focuses on estate planning, guardianships, business law, and mediation. He may be an attorney by trade, but his true passion is coaching football and helping to develop men of character and integrity. Coach Gaston has coached both offense and defense and is currently serving as the head coach for Grace Middle School. His mantra: Compete-Finish-Love.
Coach Hemphill has played soccer for twenty years, both at the high school and college level. He set the Georgia 5A state record for career goals with 115, was a First Team All-District, and District MVP selection. He played football The University of Georgia for one year, and was a two-year starter for the Darton College Cavaliers soccer team in Albany, Georgia, earning All-Conference honors. He earned a trial for a professional team in England before retiring to pursue ministry. Coach Hemphill has coached soccer off and on for ten years. He served as an assistant coach at Lee County High School and Deerfield-Windsor School (Georgia). He currently coaches the middle school soccer teams for Grace and is an assistant coach for the boys and girls varsity teams. He also coaches a girls club team for FC Dallas in Tyler. In addition to soccer, Coach Hemphill has coached middle school and high school football at Grace Community School since 2010. He is also an online seminary student pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics.
Coach Hope has thirty-eight years of coaching experience on the high school and collegiate levels. He has had coaching stints at Garland High School, Allen High School, Highland Park High School, Richardson High School, and Liberty Christian School. The Highland Park squad captured the 1998 State Championship. This past spring, Coach Hope was instrumental in helping Liberty Christian win the 2019 TAPPS Division 1 State Championship. He was voted Coach of the Year in 2010 while at Richardson, and that same year he was selected to coach in the North Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game. Coach Hope coached two years at Henderson State University completing his Master’s degree and helped guide the team to post-season play each year. Two players were selected in the 1991 draft. In 2012, he accepted the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator position at Ouachita Baptist University. In his first season, the Tiger pitching staff was second in the conference in ERA. Coach Hope became head coach of the Tigers baseball program in 2015. The Tigers reached post-season play in three of his six seasons at Ouachita and three pitchers were taken in the MLB draft during his tenure. Additionally, Coach Hope spent five summers coaching the McKinney Marshals in the Texas Collegiate League earning four playoff appearances, three championship berths and a league title in 2006. He also captured the TCL Coach of the Year honor in 2004. Several players off those squads were selected in MLB drafts. Coach Hope has served as Regional Director for the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association. He is a member of the THSBCA and American Baseball Coaches Association. Coach Hope has been a sponsor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has served in churches as deacon, director of a young married class, and youth Teacher. Kyle and his wife, Cindy, have two children. Daughter, Erin, is married to Jordan Allen and they have two children, Gentry and Camden. They currently serve on the CRU staff at SFA in Nacogdoches, TX. Son, Ryan, is married to Haley and they live in McKinney, TX.
Ric has been teaching history at the high school level since 2012, and has been with Grace Community School since 2015. He received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and History/Social Sciences with an endorsement in Math from Wheaton College, where he also had the privilege to play college football. He has been married to Mrs. Radcliffe since the summer of 2013. She, too, is currently working at Grace Community School in the middle school as the eighth grade math teacher. Ric also serves as a football coach on both the varsity and junior varsity levels, as well as one of the high school track and field coaches.
Head Middle School Coach
Wes joined Grace Community School in 2021. He received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education math and a minor in religion from East Texas Baptist University. He later attended Lamar University, receiving a master’s degree in educational administration. Wes has eight years of experience, having served in many roles, including administration, teacher, and coach at both Gladewater High School and Brownsboro High School. Coach Johnston and his wife, Miranda, have two sons, Hudson and Knox, and a dog, Dixie. He loves to hang out with his family, coach, and ride his motorcycle.