DALLAS — Parish Episcopal plays in TAPPS Division II. They've made the playoffs every year since 2008 and won a state championship in 2010.
But, from now on, they'll be known as "that team with the blue field."
"We've got a forward-thinking school that's not afraid to take risks, be a little different, which I think is a great message in education," said Scott Nady, the head football coach at Parish Episcopal.
"I was like, OK, that's just a bunch of gossip; I'm not sure if it's going to happen," said Justin Morris, a wide receiver, defensive back and part-time defensive end. "Then I walk out and see they're putting down some blue stuff and I'm like, 'OK, OK, here we go.'"
The blue field isn't technically blue.
"This is Panther blue," said Nady since that would infringe on an agreement Parish Episcopal made with Boise State to get permission to use the color. As far as Nady knows, this field and Boise's are the only two in the country with blue turf.
"I thought to myself, if I was 16 years old and I had a chance to play on a blue field, boy I would carry my shoes 10 miles barefoot to do that one time," Nady said,
Different is the theme here and it starts at the bottom, with coach Nady's feet.
"I do wear shoes during games, but at practice I'm always barefoot," he said. "I just think better when I'm barefoot, kind of connected to the ground."
The barefoot thing is just weird, but if the head coach is walking around barefoot, than it's an indication that no idea is off limits. They have full speed tackling dummies, and music is blaring during practice, with some dancing too.
"Oh, it's the best to be able to be different and be successful while doing it," said William Lemasters, a linebacker and wide receiver. "It's irreplaceable. That's what I'll miss most, this being my fourth year. It's something I'm not going to be able to get back."
They're a small private school with 29 players on the varsity football team, but they've made it cool to be a Panther.