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Dwayne Garner, center, is seen here with his daughter Sandy Williams (at left) and granddaughter Lauren Williams during last year’s regional final basketball game. Sports, as Garner notes, provide the city of Brownsboro with some of its biggest moments.

Dwayne Garner has been toting the chains on Brownsboro sidelines for 31 years, but he’s never experienced anything quite like this.

Garner will be on the sidelines during tonight’s Region II-AAA championship game between the Brownsboro Bears and the Celina Bobcats at Texas Stadium in Irving.

Garner calls the opportunity to work the chains — marking off the yards needed for teams to achieve a first down — an honor.

“I like to get down there where they can sweat on me and hear what the coaches are saying,” Garner said with a chuckle. “It’s a heck of a deal for me.”

The opportunity was one he didn’t think he would get.

Garner — who figures he has missed only two or three Bear home games in 31 years — hadn’t worked a playoff game this season. He only works Bears home games, and stadiums hosting playoff games often include their own chain crews in the price of renting the facility.

But Garner this week got the call from Brownsboro head coach John Settle offering the chance to be on the field working the chains at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Garner began running the chains for Brownsboro after retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1974. He said he wanted to get into officiating high school football games, but was told it would take two years to reach that goal. Instead, he opted to run the chains.

This year’s Bears team is the first Henderson County team to play at Texas Stadium, and tonight’s game marks the furthest a county team has advanced in the playoffs since Trinidad won the Six-Man state championship in 1998.

The city of Brownsboro, and its students and parents across the Murchison and Chandler areas, have embraced the historical significance the team’s long playoff run carries. Windows have been painted and signs have been posted offering good luck to the Bears all over town.

Garner said the town appreciates the accomplishments of its teams — including last year’s run to the state tournament by the varsity girls basketball team, on which his granddaughter played. He said he takes pride in seeing Bear fans fill up the stands no matter the sport or the location.

“We do get excited over our athletic teams,” he said. “This has just brought the community together.”

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