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Football Stadium to carry Cozel Foster's, Veterans' names

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A.D. Ibarra

-Eagle Pass

 

In a decision taken and unanimously approved at Tuesday night's meeting of the Eagle Pass Independent School District Board of Trustees, the name of the EPISD Sports Complex Football Stadium will aptly carry the combined names of legendary Eagle Pass High School football coach Cozel Foster and a name which appropriately honors the steadfast dedication exemplified by our fighting forces around the world as well as those who have dedicated and even given their lives to insure the freedom which we all live in this, the greatest country on Earth, our US Veterans.

The name of the stadium in which the Eagle Pass Eagles and the CC Winn Mavericks do battle in week in and week out will be called Foster Veterans Memorial  Stadium.

In a presentation made by Coach C.D. Kirchner and Robert Ruiz at the last meeting of the Board of Trustees, Coach Kirchner recalled the legend that is Cozel Foster who along with wife Martha have touched the lives of countless athletes in Eagle Pass hearkening back to the 1950's and do so to this day as both this reporter and my father Sammy, my Godfather Frank Chisum, Eagle Pass High School Principal Rudy Bowles, EPISD Assistant Superintendent Lalo Treviño and many of their friends, brothers, cousins and sons all had the opportunity to be coached by Cozel Foster.

Kirchner recalled a letter from Foster informing those interested in coming out for the football team back in 1955, the first year that he would be entrusted with the Eagle Football Program which read as follows: "Dear Eagles, I have arrived in Eagle Pass.  Report to practice in the best shape you have ever been in you life or you will regret it.  P.S. We WILL win the District Championship."

It was this kind of confidence and attention to detail that Foster and his coaching staffs would bring to the table and which their opponents would know of across the State of Texas that his teams would be bringing on game nights as Kirchner also recalled running into coaches and being surprised to know that they knew of Coach and his offensive and defensive schemes.

Foster is a Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor recipient who not only brought pride but respect for Eagle Pass.  His teams contested every snap, every minute and kept coming at teams in waves from kickoff until the last play of the game and through attrition and relentless pressure to break the will of their opponents.

University of Texas Head Coach Mack Brown even forwarded a letter giving his opinion on the imminent naming if the new stadium because the Board of Regents at one time wanted to rename their stadium for Darrell Royal, "It has been brought to my attention that a somewhat similar situation exists in Maverick County, and one of your very own, Coach Cozel Foster is one of 324 coaches who have been selected into the Hall of Honor," Brown wrote, "This beautiful stadium can bring your community together by recognizing not only hundreds of veterans of Maverick County, but also a young Marine who made it through (WW II)."

What many of Coach Foster's players may not know is that he was a proud US Marine and WWII veteran and was one of two living veterans alive today who was on the last voyage of the USS Texas that came back from Oahu, Hawaii to San Pedro, Port of California, Los Angeles before the vessel was retired.

Foster and his beautiful life's partner Martha, the parents of former Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, have been there for students in the EPISD in many ways as Mrs. Foster was always known to say, "One of the noblest callings in life is to be a parent," and Kirchner remembers that there is no telling how many problems she helped to keep from becoming life-changing issues.

Also in the planning stages to embellish the now existing facilities at the stadium are the intentions of our local Veterans of Foreign Wars to create a 1500-1800 Sq. Ft. memorial museum which patrons can walk through to see displays of local war history and those who have fought in four of the most compelling conflicts in our nation's history, WW I, WW II, the Korean Conflict and Desert Storm.  One will be able to walk through this memorial and get a feel for life's true drama, war and hand-to-hand combat, first hand and all those Eagle Passans who were there to live it first hand.

So to our athletes past, present and future, whether you were or are an Eagle or a Maverick, you too will be touched by this man every time you put on your shoulder pads and helmet, every time you run onto that field to the strains of "The Victors" or "The Eagle War Cry", for like our men and women of the United States Armed Forces for which this stadium will now be named, and like my coach Cozel Foster, the resilience of all that is Eagle Pass and Maverick County will always be with us in mind, heart and most of all in our memories, for that is what life is all about, a fleeting glimpse of time which lives on in our memory.

Last modified on Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:18