MINEOLA - Micheal Drennon does not talk very much. The junior linebacker/receiver prefers to let his play on the field speak for him.

His father, Joe, is also a man of few words. The Mineola head coach/athletic director prefers to let his team's performances and success on and off the field speak for him.

The rest of the Class 3A Division II wish the Drennons would stop talking.

The son and father have helped push Mineola into a third consecutive state semifinal. Mineola (12-2) will face Wall (12-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Waco ISD Stadium looking to advance to a second state championship game in three years.

"It has been a lot of fun when you can watch your kid grow up, you get to coach them and be in this business, it's pretty special," Joe Drennon said. "Especially, when you make a run like we've done the last three or four years around here. It has been really neat and he's been a part of it since he was a freshman."

Michael Drennon started for the Yellowjackets his freshman season and made an impact on defense and offense. Michael caught a touchdown pass in the 'Jackets' state championship loss to Cameron Yoe and was later named district Offensive Newcomer of the Year.

"It was crazy; coming out of middle school and then freshman year you are playing at Cowboys Stadium," Michael said. "It was a cool thing to be (a part of)."

Last year the sophomore was a fixture on defense, earning all-state honorable mention honors in helping lead the 'Jackets back to the state semifinals. The 'Jackets were upended in their quest to return to state, falling to Brock 38-22.

"It has definitely motivated all of us," Michael said. "We weren't the best team last year and it showed that we needed to work harder if we were going to be the best team this year. That is what we have been working for."

Despite missing half of this season because of a knee injury, the junior is one of Mineola's top tacklers, with colleges already beginning to inquire about him.

The traditional setup in many head coach-son setups is the son plays quarterback for his father. Michael played under center in middle school, but when he arrived at the high school level, the Jackets already had a starting QB, then-sophomore Jeremiah Crawford.

"I have always played defense and I love defense," Michael said. "Jeremiah is a great quarterback and I needed to do what made the team better."

Coach Drennon added: "It's never really concerned me where my kid plays. As long as he plays (hard) and plays as well as he can. Michael is a good receiver and good linebacker, so that's where he's at."

Michael has been more than happy to catch passes from Crawford when he's not in pursuit of the opposition's quarterback. He grabbed a TD pass from Crawford in a playoff win over Sabine and forced a fumble and recovered it in Mineola's playoff win over Whitesboro.

Last week against Pottsboro in the state quarterfinals Michael finished with 10 tackles, five of them solo, to go with a sack and three quarterback pressures.

"We just came out and were really physical," Michael said of Mineola's 46-3 quarterfinal win. "We try to be the most physical team. That is what we try to do each time out."

Michael's older brother, Tyler, 24, was the quarterback for his father when Joe was head coach at Corsicana Mildred.

"He was a quarterback for me, but the deal was he wasn't a defensive guy," Drennon said.

Joe also has two daughters with his oldest, Rebekah, in college at Texarkana while sophomore Rachel runs track.

Three years ago when Mineola made its first run to the state championship game, Joe's wife, Lorrie, produced T-shirts with the hashtag #Play16.

"That was our mindset for the whole year to get to that 16th game," Michael said. "Some people doubted us in the beginning and we just started rolling."

Lorrie has a new hashtag for the 'Jackets this season: #Play16in16.

Coach Drennon said his family has enjoyed being a part of Mineola football.

"We've won four district championships in nine years, made a state run and been in the playoffs seven out of those nine years," Drennon said. "It has taken a lot of hard work and a lot of our kids have started this thing from years ago that has us where we are right now."


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