Sunday, September 07, 2008

Texas... Finally

Taking The Field
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
I've always been somewhat afraid that a Texas football fan would discover my blog and photos and denounce my work because I had never attended a game in Texas. No more... they'll have to find some other flaw if they wish to do so now.

After more than three years of thinking about it, I finally committed myself to visit West Texas and take in their version of small town high school football, aka six-man football. I wish the journey could have come about on someone else's nickel, but dishing out the expenses for a round-trip airfare to El Paso, car rental, 1,100 miles worth of petrol and a couple motels along the way was still worth it. All of this with threatening rains and overcast skies standing by in one of our country's driest and sunniest regions.

Countless alumni of great football universities throw away much more money on any given autumn weekend to see their favorite team in action compared to my modest investment, and they only get to witness one football game.

After spending Friday in Sanderson, Texas for their opener against the Grady Wildcats, I drove over 300 miles in my rented Ford Fusion to attend the Jayton (Texas) Gridiron Classic the next day. The Gridiron Classic consist of four games of six-man football starting at 10:30 in the morning with the last game commencing at 7:30 in the evening.

Think about it... five Texas six-man football games in two days! Did I luck out or what?

Raider Interference
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
My luck can be whittled down to the fact that I chose the first week when these football "marathons" are held in the Lone Star state. As I found out later, there were other locations that same day hosting day-long football events too. Two others I heard about were in Trent and Hico—both featuring six-man games too.

One might be wanting to ask about now, "So, is Texas small town football different than what you've seen in Montana or Wyoming?"

Given the fact that there are over 100 six-man football teams in Texas, it shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that I probably witnessed at least one team that would likely defeat a six-man state champion hailing from Montana or Wyoming. That's simple math.

Yet, I suppose what impressed me the most were the facilities I saw in places like Sanderson and Jayton. In short, it's safe to say that Texas spends more money on high school football than Wyoming or Montana. So much, that even the small town schools don't feel so "small town" when it comes to attending a football game.

Further, as I headed back to El Paso on Sunday, I stopped in several other West Texas towns along the way to view other facilities as well. One town that stood out was Kermit (pop. 5,367). Kermit is about the same size town as Powell—where I live. But Kermit's stadium dwarfs Panther Stadium (here in Powell) and is easily larger than Daylis Stadium in Billings, Montana where the big AA schools of West, Senior and Skyview play.

Originally uploaded by mdt1960
I'm still recovering from the Texas five-game kickoff to the 2008 season—to the extent that I chose to stay home for the first week of games in Wyoming and Montana. With any luck and a little more rest, I should be up for a trip to Victor, Montana next week where the Vikings will be hosting the defending Class C eight-man state champions—the Drummond Trojans.


Lea L. said...

I don't think I have ever commented on your blog, but I read it often during the football season, and when I remember to in the off-season. Loved reading about Texas football!! My little brother plays for the Sheridan Panthers, so of course we are diehard small town football fans! We hope to see you at a game this year!

I did a post on my blog about the Sheridan-Drummond game this past Friday night if you want to check it out. Considering I am a girl, and the sister of the QB...I post with more emotion and feeling than stats. But, you might like the photos! :)

Have a great day,
~Lea Lawson

David said...

Here's a link for the "Six-Man Super Saturday" football event,, held recently in Hico, Texas.

Super Saturday's premise is simple: Invite 10 of the state's top six-man schools to a season kickoff extravaganza in a spiffed-up stadium featuring all the fixin's of a college bowl game. Include Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders for decoration and invite former Cowboys running back Walt Garrison to serve as grand marshal.