Paris High School football coach Tyquan Rice talks to varsity and elementary football players after practice. "As a coach I want to inspire. There's a lot of absent dads, so when I coach players it's more about the message than the tone because I know they have more to give than what they're giving."
Tyquan drives by his childhood home where he lived after leaving foster care when he was in elementary school. He says the early adversity he faced has made him a better father and coach.
In Tyquan's truck hangs a photo of Chaynce, a 13-year-old football player who took his own life. "I've lost players before, but not like that," Tyquan says. "Mental health is such a mystery; there's just not a lot of answers."
Tyquan embraces his horse, Chaynce, named for the 13-year-old football player who took his own life. Tyquan says the stables are his place of peace. The horse is "a therapy animal, something to take my mind off of it. He came at a sad time and helped us get through."
At the Sunrise Breakfast on the football field, the senior football players, their families and coaches pray together before the meal. "Football is a family, a brotherhood. It's hard, but it's nurturing," Tyquan says.
The Sunrise Breakfast is a tradition where seniors and their families gather on the football field to share a meal the day before their final regular season home game.
Tyquan smiles as he finds out two of his players received an offer to play college football. "It felt like Christmas morning," he says. "That's what it's all about. I want every kid to be offered. Football is a tool that can change lives like generational wealth and free school."
While walking through the high school Tyquan saw a student sitting in the office and immediately went over to talk to him. "You can't find anyone better than him," Cayla Ison, a long-time friend says. "He's not just a coach; he invests in the kids."
Tyquan takes a selfie with his nephew Damien, 5, in the middle of a parade at Paris Elementary School. Damien was the foster child of Tyquan's sister, Danielle. Even though Damien has returned to his family, he still calls Tyquan his uncle.
The Paris High School football team warms up before their final regular final season home game. The team hopes to finish the season 9-1, which hasn't happened since 2015.
Tyquan coaches a player during a timeout. When he first started coaching at Paris High School the team had only eight players so he used three trash cans to stand in for three players in order to have all 11 positions filled.
Taquan talks to quarterback Tray Murrell during a timeout. Outside the team's locker room hangs a plaque that reads: "Every youngster needs a light by which he may find the way."
Tyquan and the Greyhounds defeated the Ludlow Panthers 50-26 to end the regular season with a record of 9-1. "I want to play at Kroger field, but it's up to you guys to get us there." Tyquan tells his team. Kroger Field at the University of Kentucky is where the championship will be played.