The boy who might have always been a little too scrawny to play high school varsity football will be honored this season by his favorite football team.
In what would have been his senior year at Clovis High, Tyler Fontenot’s initials have been put onto the headgear of the Wildcats for the 2008 campaign — which begins with a home contest tonight against Alamogordo.
Fontenot and his uncle, Joe Haseloff, drowned during a lake outing in Texas this spring.
“Tyler played football when he was younger, but he just didn’t get any bigger,” Clovis coach Eric Roanhaus said. “Then he took up golf and was a heckuva golfer.”
Fontenot finished in the top six at the Class 5A state golf championships in his sophomore and junior years.
Fontenot served as a waterboy for the Clovis High football team years for two years while in elementary school plus Roanhaus worked as a monitor at the high school cafeteria, where Fontenot’s grandmother worked.
“He’s a friend of a lot of these kids and was a manager for the ninth-grade team when a lot of them were in the ninth grade. He had a lot of ties with our kids and a lot of ties with the football program,” Roanhaus said. “He still liked football enough to hang around his buddies who played.
“I know he was real active, last year down in Artesia with that game on ESPN-U, he was running around with one of those flags,” he added. “He never put on one of those purple helmets with a ‘C’, but he’s just like one of us.”
The initials “TF” are located at the base of the Clovis helmets, just to the left of the center stripe, while each player’s number is to the right.
Cal Fullerton, an assistant football coach, got to know Fontenot well as the school’s golf coach.
“With Tyler being friends with everybody, the kids just wanted to do something special,” Fullerton said. “Of course, I wanted to do something and that’s the first thing that came to mind.”
While Fontenot was partial to LSU on the college level, there was no doubt that his high school was No. 1. Although he had a girlfriend from Hobbs, the two sat in their own high school rooting sections during games between the two schools.
“I bet he’d be tickled. You’d see him at every game with the Wildcat flag waving it,” Fullerton said. “And he was at every game — basketball, football, everything he could be at."