• Kale Steed

Ben, thanks for the memories

McLean’s Ben Crockett wrapped up one the best careers in Texas Panhandle history during the Class 1A Division I state title game on Wednesday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. [Matt Smith/ Press Pass Sports]

ARLINGTON— It was the end of an era on Wednesday afternoon on the grand stage of AT&T Stadium.

McLean, the Texas Panhandle, and media members that have followed his journey, said goodbye to Tigers do-it-all standout Ben Crockett.

Crockett played his final high school football game Wednesday in a Tigers uniform, and though McLean lost a heartbreaker, 58-52, to Blum, Crockett’s legacy is strongly cemented as one of the best players to come through the Amarillo-Area over the past two decades at any level.

His story is inspiring, and has reached the hearts of many. Crockett doesn’t just play for himself, or his team when he gets on a football field.

He plays for his late brother, Cody, who lost his life during the tragic wildfires near Mclean in 2017.

That fuel to fulfill his older brothers memory is what gives Crockett that extra burst when he put on his No. 20 jersey.

Three straight seasons he’s gone over 2,000 yards rushing. This senior season was his career-best with 2,965 yards on the ground with 63 rushing touchdowns.

He’s the reigning Class 1A Division I Player of the Year, and don’t be surprised if he defends that crown this year.

As jaw dropping as these numbers are, and how humbling receiving accolades can be, that’s not why Crockett plays. The low key 6-foot-1, 215 running specimen plays to win. Sharing the Class 1A Division I state championship his teammates and coaches from a historic 2018, is memories and honors Crockett wants to remember.

Crockett scores a touchdown against Blum on Wednesday at AT&T Stadium. [Matt Smith/ For Press Pass Sports]

Crockett burst into a smile when he thinks back on winning 39 games over three years that helped change the stigma of a community that one point didn’t win a game for four consecutive seasons during the 1980s.

“The last four years at McLean have been a blast for me,” Crockett said. “My sophomore year we could see we were building something special. Then coach [Clint] Linman came in. His style fit our team and we’ve had great success with that.”

For those that did see him play, cherish what you witnessed. Crockett is one of a handful type of athlete we are gifted with in the Texas Panhandle.

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