TYLER — Lindale and Whitehouse have a long history of being rivals on the gridiron.

That rivalry even extends into community service.

“One of the goals I gave to our athletic director Mike Maddox at the start of last football season was the community service award,” Lindale head football coach Chris Cochran said. “Whitehouse won it last year, and that’s a rivalry. If Whitehouse wins it one year, we want to do the same thing the next.”

Lindale accomplished that goal by being named the winner of the Coach Danny Palmer East Texas Team Community Service Award on Tuesday at the 14th annual East Texas Kick-Off Luncheon.

Lindale’s community service included opening doors for students at College Street Elementary and the Lindale Early Childhood Center every Friday morning and even signing autographs. The Eagles did a breast cancer fundraiser in October 2018.

The Lindale football program was able to pack, wrap and give away 100 boxes of Christmas gifts to veterans. About 20 of the Eagle football players were able to visit the Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home, where they got the opportunity to give every veteran a Christmas gift and visit with them on a Saturday morning in December.

Other community service events for Lindale were the Our Day to Shine campaign and the Dairy Queen Children’s Miracle Network Day.

“We always talk about pouring into others,” Cochran said. “This is just a great example of what we’re trying to do each and every day.”

“We always try to go above and beyond to help out with the community,” Lindale receiver/safety Conner Boyette said. “It makes you feel good on the inside knowing that you made someone’s day better and put a smile on their face. It feels good to know the work we did is getting noticed.”

Boyette was one of several athletes in attendance on Tuesday that will receive a scholarship. Other athletes were All Saints’ Smith Reynolds, Arp’s Tren Jones, Athens’ Hunter Martin, Big Sandy’s Caden Minter, Bishop Gorman’s Jack Dial, Brook Hill’s Jake Schaefer, Brownsboro’s Cole Williams, Bullard’s Jaxson Elliott, Chapel Hill’s Kobe Coker and Khalan Griffin, Frankston’s Whit Thomas, Gilmer’s Blake Olivares, Gladewater’s Robert Hodges, Grace Community’s Alvin Skipworth, Grand Saline’s Grant Lewis, Henderson’s Brady Odom, Jacksonville’s Steven Gallegos, John Tyler’s Isaiah Johnson, Longview’s Parker Cox, Palestine’s Jeremiah Johnson, Pine Tree’s Da’von Coleman, Tatum’s Logan Foster, Texas College’s Carlos Mosby, Trinity Valley’s Eddie Godina, Troup’s Desmon Deason, Tyler Junior College’s Mark Barthelemy, Tyler Lee’s Noah Springer, Van’s JJ Kellum, Whitehouse’s Cooper Clemons and Winona’s Quindarrius Johnson.

The guest speaker for the event was Ron Franklin, who has been a basketball and football play-by-play commentator for the University of Texas, the play-by-play voice of the Houston Oilers, the sports director for KSWS in Roswell, New Mexico, KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma, KHOU in Houston and KPRC in Houston. Franklin then spent 24 years working for ESPN as a commentator for college football and college basketball.

Franklin said a memorable moment that stands out during his career was calling the 2006 Rose Bowl/BCS Championship between Texas and USC.

Franklin recalled a fourth and short for USC where he questioned the Trojans’ decision to leave Reggie Bush on the sideline.

Franklin said football is his “passion” and wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to speak to coaches and players in East Texas.

“When Cindy (Smoak) called me up and told me about this event, I immediately said I would like to speak,” Franklin said. “I’m glad to be here. I come to Tyler annually for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.”

Franklin spent time telling some funny stories about speaking on television. He also praised Patrick Mahomes and Texas high school football.