Traylor developed the council when he first came to Gilmer 14 years ago.
Using a PowerPoint slide show, Traylor told the club the history of the Captains Council, its goals, and ways the members are chosen.
He said that he has the words of Colossians 3:23 on the wall of the Buckeyes’ field house: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
He said that his first council came up with the acronym PRIDE:
One slide was a quote from Lou Holtz: “Leadership is the most important factor in development of a championship team,” which is also on the field house wall.
The selection process starts when members of the team elect eight to 10 players, representing different parts of the team.
The overall team is divided into six to eight competitive teams, headed by two seniors who coach that team.
Finally, it’s down to four captains for the different squads on the team.
To build Buckeye pride, every locker in the field house has a plate on it, so each year a player will know which Buckeye used it before him.
He said “the purpose of a head coach is to reflect the team, and the purpose of the team is to reflect the captains.”
He interspersed another quote from the field house walls: “What I can impart to you means everything” — Mike Ditka.
Traylor also has one wall with pictures of the 92 Buckeyes that have gone on to be collegiate players since he began coaching here, as well as names of five who went to the NFL.
On the first Wednesday before 2-a-days, the coaches and captains hold a meeting.
They discuss the mottoes and settle on a motto for the season. They also fill out a contract, agreeing to their roles as captains, and study the history of the program they are continuing, as well as the players who have gone on to college or the pros.
They also study the Black Flag defense. While a white flag means surrender, the Black Flag means “fight to the end.”
Traylor said that after every game, his wife sews the name of that week’s opponent on it, so the next opponent will be reminded of how many teams the Buckeyes have defeated.
He also told about the success of the Adopt a Buckeye program. Traylor said that some community members got too carried away — they gave their “adopted” Buckeye gifts every week.
“No, no, that’s not what it’s about,” Traylor said he told them. They are to give their Buckeye help and encouragement instead.
Traylor said that during the season, every Monday night after the previous Friday’s game, they meet at the field house, have a meal, and go over the previous week’s game and look ahead to the next Friday night.
Interspersed in the slide show was a short video of three captains, telling what the program means to them. They were Tanner Barr, Josh Walker and Curtis Brown.
Traylor said he tried to instill in his players “the character to walk away” when faced with a threatening situation. (Rotary Club president and Gilmer Supt. Rick Albritton elaborated on this later in the meeting.)
“In every season, there will be at least one player who gets arrested. It might be over something stupid. Frankly, it would be better for me if I kicked them off the team, even if they are star players,” the veteran coach said. “But then, who do they have that they can go to?”
He said some the players don’t have close families, and if they had no adult to go to, their lives would be in terrible shape.
Traylor also said that “Friday nights are community events in East Texas. You see people start showing up at the stadiums at about 4:15 and just talk until 7:30.”
At the end of the well-received program, Albritton reminded the members of the character shown a few years ago, when the Buckeyes beat Dallas Roosevelt, and the thugs from Roosevelt came across the field, wanting to start a fight with the Gilmer kids.
They maintained discipline and they and their coaches pulled away into an area until the situation was brought under control.