Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Carroll falls back on tradition to move forward in playoffs
ARLINGTON - The members of the Southlake Carroll inner circle have rarely stopped talking about tradition this season. It hovers like fog.
The bleached-blonde hair for the playoffs traces back to 2001. Longtime fans hold onto tickets for decades.
A team can get lost in tradition, or it can use tradition to pull out of the depths. That was Carroll's crossroads at the season's well-publicized rocky start. Now the Dragons are in the third round of the playoffs, after defeating Colleyville Heritage, 34-17, Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
"Once we enter the playoffs," running back Paul Stevenson said, "Coach Wasson says to take it to a new level."
If this result looked familiar to you, there is a reason. Carroll defeated Heritage in the playoffs, by a sizeable margin, in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
This may have been Heritage's best opportunity. The Panthers took a 10-6 lead early in the second half on a 74-yard Jeff Calvert run.
From there, it was all Carroll. Stevenson rushed for a TD. Shaun Hoagland intercepted a pass then caught a pass for a touchdown.
A second-round playoff victory for Carroll seems so common, so ordinary. But for many like quarterback Kenny Hill, it was their first experience, particularly on Jerry World's stage.
"Every time we're here," Hill said, "somebody does something special."
He was talking about the past, former glorious memories. Hal Wasson didn't stray from those either, mentioning the "Dragon tradition."
As he spoke, Daxx Garman, whose transfer controversy got Wasson and others discussing that tradition nonstop, stood a few feet away. He is listed as a team manager.
He celebrated the victory with all his teammates, wearing a No. 12 jersey and sporting bleached blonde hair like everyone else.