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Friday, December 25, 2015

Lake Ridge Football Makes District History by Going to State Championship

Coach Thor and quarterback Jett Duffey embrace after winning
the state semifinal game. Courtesy: Dallas Morning News.
For head coach Kirk Thor, the journey has been surreal. He went from starting Lake Ridge High School’s football program in 2012 with a record of 0-10 to going into the 5A Division I state championship game as an undefeated team three years later.

The 2015 matchup is the first time Mansfield ISD has reached a state championship game in football.

“I knew it would be a tough road, but it energizes me to build programs and people,” said Coach Thor.

“We have a tremendous coaching staff, and our focus is on the process and building a culture of acceptance. We love you for who you are, and we want you to do your best at all times. It’s not about the scoreboard.”

The Lake Ridge Eagles became runner-ups in the championship game against George Ranch Longhorns on Dec. 18, but Thor said he still has plenty to be happy about.

The 2016 senior class at Lake Ridge High School will be the first class that has been at the school all four years. Coach said it has been amazing to see his team grow throughout the years and accomplish so much.

The Lake Ridge football team gathers together after a victory.
“I’m like a proud dad,” Thor added. “It’s been fun as a coach to see these boys develop into the great young men they are today.”

Thor noted that senior quarterback Jett Duffey, who has committed to Texas Tech University, stays humble even after winning so many awards and recognitions for his athleticism. He said his entire team deserves the spotlight and there are plenty of unsung heroes.

Being able to make it all the way to the state championship game has been a great ride for coach. He said he is thankful for the community support he has received along the way.

“To be able to make it that far is exciting,” said Coach Thor. “It’s a neat experience, and we’re humbled and very grateful.”