When the Ray and Miller football teams went out for the ceremonial coin toss during Friday's District 14-5A Division I opener, 15 members of the Texans' 1959 state championship team, newly induced into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame, joined the team captains at midfield.
Then the assembled members of the Miller Athletic Hall of Fame in attendance surrounded the Bucs team captains on the opposite side.
As CCISD athletic director Brenda Marshall tossed the coin some of the greatest athletes both schools have ever produced were standing shoulder to shoulder in an impressive scene.
During breaks in the action throughout the night, the video board played vignettes with players from Miller and Ray's state championship football teams from 1959 and 1960 recalling memories from their historic seasons.
Though their historic matchups during those state title years are more than 60 years in the past, the Texans and Bucs recalled moments like they happened yesterday.
Some even seemed to want and stay and chat near midfield with their rivals on the field after the toss, before they were kindly reminded that there was still a game to be played.
Marshall said there is importance in reminding current players the illustrious history that both hallmark CCISD programs have.
"It is good any time you are able to celebrate the past," Marshall said, herself a Ray graduate. "The kids now don't understand the rich tradition and they don't understand the things people had to do to get to where we are today. I always appreciate the Miller-Ray game because a lot of the alumni come back. They talk to the football teams and meet with them.
"They need to know those stories and what it was like. What they had or didn't have. It is a very special moment."
As part of Ray's 2022 class, the 1959 state football champions were inducted as a team.
The Texans had 11 players earn Division I scholarships to Southwest Conference schools and four were named first-team all-state.
Under head coach Bill Stages the team held 12 of its 14 opponents to single digits, including state power Wichita Falls in the state championship game, and had five shutouts.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Ray football state champions return for Hall of Fame induction