Si Blackshire was one of the first Carthage Bulldogs to earn a state championship ring in football as he helped lead the 2008 team to the title with a 49-37 win over Celina.

He became an all-time answer to a trivia question on Tuesday when he became the first former Dawg to also earn a ring as an assistant coach for the Dawgs when the team got their rings for the 2019 42-28 win over Waco LaVega.

“It was really special to be a senior on that 2008 team,” said Blackshire, who was one of the leaders on the team when Scott Surratt took over in 2007. “It was a great feeling to bring the title back to Carthage.

“To be the first quarterback to do it was awesome. Coach told us if we bought into the system, good things would happen. I really felt like we did buy into it, and winning the championship and getting the ring for that 2008 season was a blessing.”

Injuries and also wanting to play two sports would lead Blackshire on a trail from Kilgore College to Trinity Valley, to Sam Houston State, back home to Panola and finally to Southern Arkansas, where he was going to get a chance to play both football and baseball.

“After one season of football I didn’t want anything to do with baseball,” he said with a laugh.

He got his degree from SAU in 2015 and also did an internship at Carthage during the 2015 season — a team that lost to Waco LaVega in the state semifinals.

But now he’s back as part of the Bulldogs’ coaching staff, working with the wide receivers on a team that could and did pass on everyone.

“To be able to come back and coach is kind of the same feeling,” he said. “I’m blessed to be able to come back and reach the same goal as a player and a coach.

“We knew we were going to be good when I was a senior. And I knew this team was going to be good when I came in. The work ethic of Coach Surratt and the people he surrounds himself with is second to none.”

Although a ring earned on the field might mean a little more to most people, Blackshire surprisingly is proudest of the one he just got.

“It’s hard to compare, but I think getting this ring as a coach might mean just a little bit more to me,” Blackshire said. “You put in a lot of time and effort both ways, but there seems to be even more as a coach.

“Maybe it’s a little more satisfying because you not only did the job preparing the game plan, but then you got the kids to buy into it and win it all.”

But now it’s time to go back to work and see about picking up a third ring.

“It’s a blessing to be part of a successful program.”

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