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Meet the “Double Eagles” of Abilene, Texas

Winning a state football championship, especially in Texas, makes you a local legend. Earning the Eagle Scout Award puts you among Scouting’s elite.

Doing either is impressive. Doing both is unbelievable. But that’s exactly the feat accomplished by nine Scouts from Abilene, Texas. The boys were part of the 2009 Class 5A Division II state champion football team. Abilene High’s mascot, coincidentally, is the Eagles. That makes it appropriate to call the nine Eagle Scouts on the football team “Double Eagles.”

These boys managed to find the perfect balance between athletics and Boy Scouts—something that isn’t easy in today’s world. Their coach, Steve Warren, admires the boys’ efforts.

“The thing that’s amazing to me is that’s the highest level you can achieve in Scouting,” he told the Abilene Reporter-News in its May feature story. “I was a Scout when I was young, and that’s an extremely difficult thing to do. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and time, much like what it takes to win a state championship.”

When Warren first learned that there were nine Eagle Scouts on his Eagles team, he was surprised. “You’re like, ‘no way. There’s not nine in Taylor County.’ For nine to be on one football team is impressive. They brought that sort of commitment to the table every day that it took to achieve that level in Scouts,” he told the Reporter-News.

The boys’ council, the Abilene-based Texas Trails Council, has about 100 boys earn the Eagle Scout badge each year. Doug Paxton, district executive, wasn’t surprised to see that a bunch of those boys were successful in multiple endeavors.

“I think it’s certainly a two-way street. They gained from both disciplines,” he told the Reporter-News. “They’re just an exceptional group of kids. Not everybody is talented enough to do all those different things.”

As many of the boys prepare for college this fall, they can look back on their high school years fondly, their coach says.

“It’s just like we told them when we gave them their [state championship] rings—that’s something that no one’s ever going to be able to take away from them,” Warren told the paper. “They’re an Eagle Scout. They’re state champions. It’s an amazing thing that they were able to do that.” Read on past the jump to meet these impressive young men.

Here are the nine “Double Eagles”:

Matt McLeod

Eagle Scout: 2009

Eagle Scout project: Planted trees and built a walkway at the Swenson House

Football position: Offensive line

What’s next: Will study business at Texas Christian University

Quotable: “There was a point in my Scouting career where it would have been convenient for me to quit and not finish it up. But sticking through it was definitely worth it in the end, and I’m glad I did that.”

Logan Chandler

Eagle Scout: 2010

Eagle Scout project: Organized a lake cleanup and restoration day

Football position: Wide receiver

What’s next: Will study religious education and science at Baylor University

Quotable: “I think the importance of being courteous to other people is that it is, usually, the best way to earn respect.”

Travis Kern

Eagle Scout: 2010

Eagle Scout project: Constructed a chicken coop for a nearby historic village

Football position: Tight end

What’s next: Will study science education at Abilene Christian University

Quotable: “When we were playing football, I was also trying to finish up my Eagle Scout [requirements]. I just had to focus on football when it was time for football, then focus on Scouts when I had to work on that.”

Hudson Beard

Eagle Scout: 2008

Eagle Scout project: Renovated a reflecting pool at the Swenson House

Football position: Offensive line

What’s next: Will attend Princeton University

Quotable: “You can show up in a uniform and pretend to be living up to [the Scout Law], but unless you are that person, it doesn’t do any good.”

Drew Carroll

Eagle Scout: 2007

Eagle Scout project: Repainted and renovated an art room at a local church

Football position: Offensive line

What’s next: Will study biology at Rice University

Quotable: “With all of the hard work that goes into both [Scouting and football], you learn how to be disciplined and stay committed to something, something you want to get done.”

Bryce Bevill

Eagle Scout: 2007

Eagle Scout project: Rebuilt a building at a church camp

Football position: Inside linebacker

What’s next: Will study engineering at Baylor University

Quotable: “My basis for wanting to work as a lifeguard came from [Lifeguarding merit badge]. That one I’ll probably remember forever.”

Nelson Goldsmith

Eagle Scout: 2010

Eagle Scout project: Extended a concrete fence at a park

Football position: Offensive line

What’s next: Will be a senior at Abilene High

Quotable: “Whether in Scouts or football or my everyday life, I just try to be a friend to everyone.”

Oliver Brooks

Eagle Scout: 2010

Eagle Scout project: Repainted an elementary school parking lot

Football position: Wide receiver

What’s next: Will attend Texas A&M University

Quotable: “You have to be able to trust who you’re working with to where you know it’s going to get done.”

Karsten Goodman

Eagle Scout: 2010

Eagle Scout project: Installed walking paths and did renovation work at Swensen House

Football position: safety and punter

What’s next: Karsten, ranked fifth in his graduating class, hasn’t decided where he’ll study political science and business.

Quotable: “You’ve got to have trust between brothers. I definitely saw it with the football team and our theme ‘Brother’s Keeper.’ As far as Scouting goes, that’s in the Scout Law—be trustworthy and loyal. Right there, that’s definitely something you expect from the guys around you.”

All quotes appeared in the Abilene Reporter-News. Photo: State champion Eagles — and Eagle Scouts — Matt McLeod (from left), Logan Chandler, Travis Kern, Hudson Beard, Drew Carroll, Bryce Bevill, Nelson Goldsmith and Karsten Goodman.

3 Comments on Meet the “Double Eagles” of Abilene, Texas

  1. Brian,
    Not meaning to diminish the accomplishments of thse great young men.
    The term “Double Eagle” is not new (in regards to scouting).
    It was used to recognize those scouts who earned bother the Eagle Scout Award and the Exploring Silver award (CAW).

  2. I am reading this five years later . . . what a good article. Thanks for posting and highlighting these boys. I am sure they did not bring it to your attention but, I was so glad to see this highlighted to show the balance that all scouts can have in their lives. It does not have to be “all or nothing”.

  3. By the way . . . since it is five years later . . it would be great to hear how these nine guys are doing now. Any challenges overcome, any university degrees yet? Any of them registered as adult volunteer scooters yet?

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