By John Loop, BubbleLife Intern
The name McDaniel will forever hold a special place in Coppell High School football lore. By 2017, three McDaniel brothers will have graced Buddy Echols Field with their presence.
Cam, a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame, led the CHS Cowboys deep into the playoffs in three of his four years on the varsity squad.
Gavin, a junior at Coppell, has become the new face of the Cowboy football program.
Ever since Cam stepped on the field as a Coppell Middle School North Cougar, Gavin has been raring to strap on pads and “run like the wind.”
“To me, he was the best player on the planet,” Gavin said. “I have watched him all my life, and he was always a standout.”
All was going well until the historic game during Cam’s senior year versus the Trojans of Euless Trinity High School.
Coppell held the lead for most of the game, but with just three seconds to go in the game and the Cowboys leading 40-35, the Trojans ran a sweep left and walked in for the game-winning touchdown.
The play ultimately ended an undefeated season and the careers of many Cowboy athletes, including the elder McDaniel brother, who would move on to bigger and brighter things in college.
When Cam’s career ended with a full scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, Gavin knew that he would have large shoes to fill.
“My emotions were very mixed (when Cam left for ND),” Gavin said. “I was extremely proud that he was granted a full scholarship to such a prestigious school, but I was also pretty sad.”
The sophomore McDaniel stepped in the next year and immediately contributed in his first playing time against Arlington High School, wearing the unmistakable No. 4 that had housed his family’s football lineage. McDaniel had a touchdown and rushed for 21 yards.
“It is really special to see my brother’s number, to play where he played. It is a real honor,” Gavin said on the night of his high school debut.
The comparisons between the brothers began to pop up, but Gavin did not take offense.
“I have always been referred to as Cam's brother, even still,” Gavin said. “People older than me often called me that, and now high school football reporters will call me that, and I do not have any bad feelings towards it.”
In a football family, tradition holds quite a standard. And the McDaniel family is not done putting their emphatic stamp on Coppell football.
The youngest of the three, TJ, a sixth grader at Coppell Middle School North, continues to tear up the field like his brothers. Soon he will be wearing the No. 4, carrying on the family name.
“In watching TJ, there is no doubt he is a part of the family,” Gavin said. “He has got a long way to go and a lot of work to put in, but he is definitely going to be a stud.”