The Judson rockets are on one of the most impressive streaks in all of Texas football.
This season Judson extended their Texas record of most consecutive winning seasons to a ridiculous 43 seasons. The Rockets, located just outside of San Antonio, Texas has not had a losing season since 1976. The streak is only two years younger than it’s new head coach, Rodney Williams.
“It’s great knowing the legacy our school has,” wide receiver Amarea Bailey said.
What’s it like being a Rocket? Just ask Junior defensive tackle, Nathaniel Pryor.
“To be called a rocket is just everything from pride, respect, hard work, discipline, and tradition.”
During this immaculate streak, Judson has claimed an impressive six state championships. But with three of those coming in the 1990’s and their latest being 17 years ago Judson in 2019 looks to reach the pinnacle once again.
This time, however, the Judson Rockets aren’t trying to just win the state championship to add to their legacy. They have another motivation, one with much more meaning, #BryceStrong.
Bryce Wisdom is a 16-year-old student-athlete at Judson high school. Rather than fighting opponents on the battlefield every Friday night, Wisdom is in a much more grueling fight that he battles each and every day of his life, a battle with cancer.
It’s the second time in the past year that Wisdom has had to endure the fight of his life. Wisdom has a rare form of kidney cancer known as a Wilms’ tumor. He endured this battle and came out victorious earlier this summer. But unfortunately, it returned early in the football season and Wisdom was told he would have to begin more chemotherapy.
“What I have learned is that not every day is promised.” Wisdom said, “ Every morning you just wake up and thank God for another day.”
Ever since Wisdom was re-diagnosed, his brothers in arms, the Judson Rockets have been on a mission to bring home a state championship for their now student coach, Bryce Wisdom.
“Bryce Strong to me is a one of a kind experience. Bryce is a solider and my brother and has been my brother since 6th grade. To play for Bryce Strong is an honor.” said Pryor.
“Every down of football we play is for him. He’s the key to this Judson football team,” Judson junior tackle Kamron Scott said.
The Judson rockets have used #BryceStrong to motivate them and lead them to a 9-1 regular-season record.
The Rockets roll into the playoffs averaging over 45 points a game whilst only giving up less than 20.
One of the keys, offensively, to the Rockets’ recent success is dual-threat quarterback Mike Chandler II.
Chandler II since 2018 has been putting up ridiculous numbers all throughout southern Texas. Nearly 4,300 yards passing along with almost 1,700 yards on the ground for a total of 70 touchdowns. He’s basically averaging a hat trick of touchdowns a game.
“Blocking for Mike can be challenging sometimes,” Scott said. “You never know what he’s going to do in the open field, but as long as we can give him the protection and space that he needs, we’re going to be a hard football team to stop once we get rolling.”
One of Chandler II’s most electrifying weapons is a senior wide receiver, Amarea Bailey. Bailey on the season has nearly 800 receiving yards for eight touchdowns and is the leading receiver for the Rockets.
“We play every game as our last.” Bailey said. “We want for people to know that Judson is here to make a statement.”
Each and every game, it’s not just the Judson players that are there to win a game. They can look over and see that their brother, Bryce Wisdom, is on the sideline acting as a student coach for the team.
“It’s really fun to go out there and coach up some of the younger kids that need helps,” Wisdom said. “The best part is that I get to travel with the team.”
Judson is loaded on the defensive side of the football as well. They have a junior and sophomore linebacker duo of Donnie Moody and Treylin Payne, respectively that already each have over 100 tackles on the season.
Add that to Nathaniel Pryors 40 tackles with four for a loss and the young Rockets’ defense looks to be heckling opposing offenses for years to come.
The reason for their success?
“Just listening to what my coaches tell me and trust in the scheme,” Moody said. “Buying into what the coaches tell us.”
The Judson Rockets, despite falling to district rival, Clemens, last Friday night still have one goal on their minds.
“Our team goal is to win the state championship,” Moody said. “District champs is not our main goal.”
Kamron Scott quickly reminded his teammates of their mission, even in defeat.
“We needed that loss more than anything so that we could humble ourselves,” Scott said.
“We thought it was going to be a walk in the park,” Scott said. “Last night was eye-opening for us. The playoffs are the start of something new…something better.”
Judson on Friday, November 15th is stacked up against 8-2 Hays in the opening round of the playoffs.
“My team and I are going to forget about the past game and put all our focus and energy into this Hays game,” Pryor said.
“You can expect us to be very focused and dialed into this game,” Scott said.
Win or lose Friday, Judson still has done something remarkable. They’ve inspired a whole town around their player, their brother, Bryce Wisdom.
“It feels awesome,” Wisdom said. “I really appreciate that they play for me and I would love to see my brothers win the whole thing this year.”
“I watched Bryce grow up,” Bailey said. “watching him play football and when he got sick it made us come together stronger as a team and play with a statement.”
Treylin Payne put it best when he called #BryceStrong a “brotherhood.”
Bryce wants people to know that even in the face of defeat and when everything seems to be going wrong — “Never give up and always stay positive.”
“It’s all in Gods’ hands and I have everyone supporting me,” Wisdom said.
Every player has goals after they take their last step on the high school football field such as Nathaniel Pryor who wants to “be a national champion in college.”
Or Amarea Bailey, who would like to “play professional ball.”
Wisdom, however, has put playing on the backburner for the time being. “My life plans are to go to UTSA with my brother and help out the football team.”
“When I graduate from UTSA I would like to go into real estate or coaching,” Wisdom said.
If you’re looking for a team to root for this high school playoff season, look no further than the Judson Rockets.
They march onto the field every Friday night with the same goal in mind, win a state championship for Bryce.
Whether it’s Donnie Moody or Treylin Payne racking up tackles like it’s nothing or Nathaniel Payne stuffing up the run game like it’s a hobby.
Or Amarea Bailey streaking down the sideline for another touchdown or Kamron Scott giving Mike Chandler II all the time he needs to make magic happen.
Whether you’re rooting for them or against them just know that at the end of the day, they just want to make their brother, Bryce Wisdom, proud.