Some took turns handling the gleaming state championship trophy. Others posed for photos while clutching their recently received gold medals. Junior fullback Thomas Middleton? Well, he walked through the crowd toting a giant log.
"We got together in the summer without coaches," Middleton said. "It was the just the team, and we did our own workouts. We would do two laps around the track carrying a log. It kind of symbolizes our summer and what we put into it.
This is one of those logs," Middleton said. "We all got together, and we all signed it and put 12/21/12 (the date of the state title game). It means everything. I love being with them. I love being on the field with my teammates. That's what I live for. Football's my life, and playing with these guys means everything for me. Being able to get this, it just means even more."
And Middleton said it meant even more after coming back from a nasty ankle injury.
"I hurt my ankle pretty bad," Middleton said. "I tore all the ligaments and broke my fibula. I kept playing on it, and I ended up having no cartilage in my ankle. I was supposed to be out until May of this year, and I came back in six weeks.
"Everything was fine," Middleton said. "I didn't feel like sitting around for months when it wasn't hurting at all."
Middleton admitted that it didn't hurt that he knew Cedar Park had a chance to make a run to its first state title.
"I knew it from day one, even with the two losses," Middleton said. "I personally thought the two losses were just notches on our belt as far as motivation for us."
Middleton took on a different role this year, a result of his weight jumping from 185 pounds to 225 pounds in the offseason. And so Middleton went from a primary ball-carrier to one of the state's top fullback prospects for 2014.
"I like running the ball," Middleton said. "I love running the ball. I like the adrenaline rush I get from it. But blocking is just as good. I love getting up from laying on top of somebody after I block them and seeing the ball downfield. A lot of times, it's mostly because I made that one block. I love blocking."
Middleton doesn't have any offers as of yet, but expect to see his interest start to boom as teams get into the spring evaluation period.