FEATURE: A Special Butler Family Moment
ARLINGTON – After the final pass had fallen to the turf, the medals draped around their necks and the trophies awarded; standing in the end zone of AT&T Stadium was the Butler family.
Brad Butler had just led his program to its first-ever state championship. As he finished with interviews he walked to the end zone, the trophy resting in his left hand, to greet his mother, Jo.
The two embraced. A tear could be seen rolling down Jo's cheek as they hugged and shared a moment.
"She goes 'Your daddy knocked that ball out at the end'," Brad said with a chuckle about what they said. "'I said he may very well may have mom."
Last year, Brad's father Tom didn't get to make the trip to AT&T Stadium for Shadow Creek's inaugural to the title game. The family had just found out he was battling cancer and he couldn't make the trip.
Tom watched the game on TV. Just a few weeks later, on January 4, 2019, Tom passed away.
Heading into this year's championship game, Brad didn't know if his mother would be able to make the trip. On Tuesday, as the team practiced at the University of Houston Indoor facility, Jo was in the emergency room, battling an illness.
Brad didn't know at that time if she would be able to travel to Arlington. But there was no way Jo would miss this.
"I tell you for her to be able to be here, she hasn't been feeling 100 percent but there was no way we were going to keep her away from this game tonight," Brad said. "It's very special for her to be here. Very special to know he is up there with a smile on his face tonight."
As they took a family photo the smiles went ear to ear as Brad and Jo stood on the bright blue turf of the Dallas Cowboys field with gold medals hanging around their necks.
A moment he will never forget.
"Be hard to top," Brad said about that moment. "Really will. Means a lot."