HOUSTON — For Neumann, his hope is some of what made this senior group special rubbed off on the younger players.
“When coaches talk about chemistry, if there’s a picture of it, it’s this senior class,” Neumann said. “I’ve never seen a group of athletes get along better, push each other harder and support each other harder, support each other when they needed it and get on each other when they needed it. They are truly brothers.
“That’s something coaches try to get in a football team. You see it manifest with this team in the offseason and during the season and you hope the younger guys see it and feed off it.”
For Raines, his teammates and the coaches, the pain is still too fresh. It’ll take time and distance before they can appreciate the legacy his classmates have left for this Nederland football team.
It’ll happen in time.
After May, when these seniors are off to college, the memory of this disappointing night in Cypress will fade. Instead, this class will be remembered for its closeness, for The Play to beat Dawson and for back-to-back undefeated district championships.
“It’s meant everything,” Raines said. “I’ve been playing with these guys since we were all nine years old. I wouldn’t trade the world for these past three years. I had a great time, we had a great year and a great journey.”