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After shot at NFL, Cyril Lemon returns to Marble Falls High School as coach

The 2010 Marble Falls High School linemen were John Rodriguez (left), Brandon Schobey, Blake Ripple, Cyril Lemon, Angel Ortiz, Sterling Hahn, Dago Rodriguez, and Ryan Atkinson. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The 2010 Marble Falls High School linemen were John Rodriguez (left), Brandon Schobey, Blake Ripple, Cyril Lemon, Angel Ortiz, Sterling Hahn, Dago Rodriguez, and Ryan Atkinson. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

MARBLE FALLS — Welcome home, Cyril Lemon.

The 2011 Marble Falls High School graduate and football and track standout is returning to his alma mater as a coach.

Lemon will coach the defensive linemen on the football team and the throwers on the track-and-field team as well as be an assistant on the girls basketball staff. He’ll also coach physical education at Epic alternative center and Falls Career High School.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Lemon said. “I’m not playing football anymore, so it’s a great opportunity for me to come back and help the kids. It’s a great spot to start.”

Lemon was a four-year starter as an offensive guard for the University of North Texas from 2011-14 and signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. He was released last year but never gave up the dream of playing professional football.

He had tryouts with the Denver Broncos and was in Detroit two weeks ago for another tryout with the Lions.

In between, Lemon flew to Canada to try out for the Calgary Stampede and Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

Calgary didn’t need an offensive lineman, and Winnipeg wanted an offensive tackle, a position Lemon hadn’t played since high school.

Since he didn’t sign a player’s contract, Lemon decided it was time to hang up his cleats and pick up a whistle.

Simply, returning to Marble Falls now is right for him, he said, noting he still has family and friends living in the area.

The 2010 Marble Falls High School linemen were John Rodriguez (left), Brandon Schobey, Blake Ripple, Cyril Lemon, Angel Ortiz, Sterling Hahn, Dago Rodriguez, and Ryan Atkinson. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The 2010 Marble Falls High School linemen were John Rodriguez (left), Brandon Schobey, Blake Ripple, Cyril Lemon, Angel Ortiz, Sterling Hahn, Dago Rodriguez, and Ryan Atkinson. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

One of his goals is to help players feel what he felt when he donned the pads, helmet, and purple and gold. Lemon helped the 2010 Mustangs end a playoff drought that began in the late 1990s. Seven years ago, Marble Falls won a bi-district championship and lost to Boerne Champion in the area round of the playoffs, but that season also will be remembered for how the Mustangs advanced to the postseason.

Marble Falls had to win a road game at Leander Vandegrift in Week 11 to advance. Protecting a 14-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the Mustangs decided to run the football and control the clock. Quarterback Zed Woerner handed the ball to fullback Austin Sparks, who kept running to the left side of the line, where Lemon was sealing off the edge to allow Sparks to gain yard after yard after yard. By the end, Marble Falls had tacked on another score for a 21-6 victory and was on its way to the playoffs.

Lemon also started another trend. He was the first of three consecutive left tackles to sign a college football scholarship. Rey Baltazar, who graduated in 2013, and Ryan Becker, who graduated in 2016, are the other two. Baltazar transferred to a Louisiana university, while Becker is at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Lemon still smiles when he thinks about that 2010 team and his class, which didn’t lose a game in the seventh and eighth grades.

Since he played at the highest level, Lemon has plenty to offer.

“I want to impart my football knowledge as far as technical things to do and not do,” he said. “I think they’re going to be receptive to me. I have their ears and eyes. It’s going to be great.”

Though he played primarily on the offensive line in high school, Lemon was used on the defensive line on third downs in crucial situations.

He already knows junior defensive lineman Jervon Collins and has met a couple of the other linemen. He looks forward to working with them in football and track. He was a district champion in the shot put as a senior.

“I’m just excited to be back in Marble Falls and helping the kids,” Lemon said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to get my feet wet in coaching and help us succeed.”

The Mustangs begin the 2017 season at Bastrop Cedar Creek at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at Bastrop Memorial Stadium, 755 Texas 21 West in Cedar Creek.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

3 thoughts on “After shot at NFL, Cyril Lemon returns to Marble Falls High School as coach

  1. Cyril is an amazing person with an unmatched amount of respect towards others. I was fortunate enough to be one of his 7th grade coaches in football and basketball. Yes, he was a great football player, but, more than that he was a great person. Marble Falls should feel blessed to have him be part of our district. Good Luck, Cyril.

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