Wednesday, November 25, 2009

High School Football in Texas

My brother has been a coach for many years.  Our son Scott has been a coach for not quite so many years.  Chuck and Scott have always had a close relationship, ever since Scott was born, and now they are coaching at the same high school in East Texas.

If you asked either one of them why they teach, they would say, because they won't let me coach unless I teach.

Chuck played football in high school and college.  So did Scott.

We lived in Denison, a small town near the Texas-Oklahoma border.

Denison won the Texas state football championship two years in a row.  Scott was part of that.  And so were we, and the rest of the town.  

During the playoffs, businesses closed on Friday night because everybody was at the game.

Season tickets were handed down like family heirlooms.

More people showed up to watch practices than were in the stands for other teams during game time.

In bigger cities, high school football is not quite as intense, but in small towns, with only one high school, it is literally the only game in town.

In Texas, coaches' careers ride on the backs of teen-age warriors battling on the football field.  If the team wins, the coach gets to keep his job.  If the team looses, he starts looking for another job.

Scott and Chuck are working together now.  Their families spend a lot of time together on weekends.  We go to the games, and sit with family, watching our guys work.

This year, Jefferson went two-deep in the playoffs.  The game was a close one, 14-7.  Jefferson lost, but it was a close game.  The boys played hard.  Only 8 starters are graduating, so next year's team will have a strong foundation of experienced players.

Our grandson will be playing next year.

Once more, we will be sitting in the stands, whether it is 105 in the shade in August, or 45 in November.  If it rains, we have water-proof boots, a large plastic dropcloth, and a big umbrella.  If it snows, we have thick jackets, fleecy scarves, and wooly gloves.

Rain or shine, hot or cold, we follow our team.

When Scott stopped playing, we thought those days were gone forever.

Next fall is going to be a lot of fun.