It had been over 40 years since anyone had donned a Lingleville High School football jersey but Friday afternoon 19 young men from Lingleville were led out on the football field by new head coach Justin Del Bosque.

In their first game since 1967, the Lingleville Cardinals faced the Stephenville Faith Knights football team, a group of home-schooled boys that have come together to form their team. While the Cardinals didnít come out on top in their first game back, they did a lot more for themselves and the community of Lingleville than what the scoreboard indicated.

When asking Lingleville head coach Del Bosque about his inaugural season and his expectations for it he said, ďThe main things we want to do this season is keep everyone playing all year long and not have our kids get their heads down. Thatís one thing that everyone talks about out here when they tried it 40 years ago, people got kind of depressed with it and kids got injured so they ended up quitting. So thatís one thing that we are going to try to do. We are going to try to keep everyone positive.Ē

With such an eager group of parents and fans showing off their new Lingleville football shirts and hats and cheering after every play, it seems that the young men on the field will have a hard time becoming discouraged.

In front of a large crowd of spectators sitting on portable bleachers and lawn chairs surrounding a roped-off field, the Cardinals fell to the Knights by the score of 30-6. Stephenville Faith built an early 12-0 lead before Lingleville was able to score just as the half expired with a one-yard dive into the end zone by Tony Govea. The missed extra point gave the Knights the 12-6 advantage entering the third quarter.

After the intermission neither team was able to punch the ball into the end zone in the third quarter, but Stephenville Faith was able to get things rolling in the fourth. At the 9:59 mark, Knights running back Daniel Winkler scored from three yards out ,and after a turnover by the Cardinals, Winkler added another three-yard score to give the Knights a 24-6 lead. With just over two minutes remaining, Stephenville Faithís Austin Roberson blocked a Lingleville punt attempt and recovered the ball in the end zone to settle the score at 30-6.

The Lingleville head coach was hoping for a different outcome in his team's first game, and Del Bosque knows that there are things to improve on as they move on to next week.

ďOur kids tried real hard. Stephenville Faith's kids tried real hard all night. We busted a few assignments and the (Faith) is a good team. They have good backs and they run hard. It was a tough game for us and we just gave it our best out here. We definitely have to work on our offense. Six points in a six-man game just isnít going to cut it so weíre really going to have to work on that. They rushed their ends really hard this week and itís something that we kept trying to adjust to and we just couldnít get the job done. ď

Lingleville returns to action in Iredell next Friday, while Faith visits San Marcos High School.