To truly appreciate the image and the emotions it conveys, there’s a bit of a backstory.

To begin with, the Alice Coyotes hadn’t seen the state playoffs since 2013, an acceptable stretch in some places, but not so much in Alice, Texas.

Secondly, at the helm of the football program this season was coach Kyle Atwood. He was the Coyotes’ third head coach in three seasons. He began the season as a young coach without a single postseason victory, but with the highest regard for Alice football since he began his career here under former coach Brent Davis’ staff during the magical 2008 season.

And here were the Coyotes, and Atwood, on a brisk Friday night a day past Thanksgiving. With a playoff win under their belts against Floresville the week before, Alice found itself on the brink of elimination after a hard-fought game against Mission Sharyland.

Alice scored and tied the game after a last-second drive. They then traded blows with Sharyland in overtime. There were a lot of heroes for the Coyotes, but in the end, it was a plunge into the end zone by quarterback Trey Jaramillo which decided the game and gave the Coyotes the win.

As Alice’s celebration began, Atwood, overcome with the fiery excitement which was his coaching trademark in his first season here, sprinted over to Jaramillo in the end zone and the two ran a short victory lap.

It was an awesome display of raw emotion and pride, which is what makes us fans of sports.

There were many great sports images this year in out paper, but the photograph of the celebration was also the Alice Echo-News Journal ’s Sports Photograph of the Year.