The East Texas area has been blessed with great people and great athletes.

The Piney Woods has produced so many high school, college and professional athletes and they never forget their roots.

The latest example was on Friday by Dylan Cantrell, a former Whitehouse High School standout and current Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver, and the Cantrell family.

The Wildcat Youth Football League was in desperate need of equipment.

Jackie Gast set up a account and donations started coming in and it was topped off by the Cantrells with a $9,000 gift.

Gast had posted the following on the

“Our Wildcat Youth Football League is in immediate need of new helmets and pads as we no longer have access to our old sets. We have anywhere from 100-120 football players sign up with us every season and no equipment to use. We could use all the help we can get to help make this a great season for these kids.”

Many posted how the league had benefited the young men of Whitehouse and the area.

Chad Dale Ward, president of Wildcat Youth Football, posted on Facebook:

“The Wildcat board would like to THANK Dylan Cantrell, #14 as a Wildcat now #84 with the LA Chargers, and the entire Cantrell family for the $9,000 donation. As his father, Kenny Cantrell, said, ‘Some of our best memories are from that league.’ Thank you for helping keep it alive for all the kids in our community.”

Amie Lee Ward added: “This is what it’s all about!!! Wildcat for Life!!! Dylan Cantrell you are our hero!!! You have saved the season for the kids in this amazing community!!!

Froncel Burns posted: “And just like that, Whitehouse Youth Football received a generous donation from Dylan Cantrell. Please help us thank him and his family for not only believing in the future of these kids but investing in them too. Dylan played for this football league and has not only given back to it but has made it possible for this 2020 season to move forward without hesitation. From our president Chad Dale Ward and the entire WYF league, We Thank You from the bottom of our hearts.”

While Cantrell’s buddy Patrick Mahomes is at the Super Bowl, Cantrell, who had shoulder surgery before the season, has been working hard at APEC in Tyler getting ready for next season.

He said he was proud for Mahomes and is rooting for the AFC Chiefs in the Feb. 2 big game.


Whitehouse athletic director Adam Cook, who was head football coach for Patrick Mahomes’ senior season, has organized a Chiefs Kingdom South get-together on Thursday in Whitehouse.

Cook said, “There will be a communitywide celebration of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.”

He said everyone is invited. It will be held at The Den, the Wildcats’ indoor workout facility, from 5-7 p.m.

“We’ll kick back and share our favorite memories while watching highlights of the 2012 and 2013 Wildcats led by No. 5 (Mahomes),” Cook said.

There will be an area for the kids to throw around the football.

No food or drinks (only water allowed) and no chairs (bring a blanket if you wish).

Parking is at the Whitehouse High School Student Parking Lot (901 E. Main St., Whitehouse, 75791).

Cook said he is hoping former teammates, band members, cheerleaders, drill team members and anyone who is a fan of Mahomes will attend.TTER: @PhilHicksETFS


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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