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Fifty years ago Abilene High School, under legendary Coach Chuck Moser, became a football dynasty in Texas. Moser moved to Abilene in 1953 at age thirty-four. What followed were seven of the most amazing years in the rich history of Texas high school football. The 1954, 1955, and 1956 teams won state championships. From 1954 to 1957 the Eagles won an incredible forty-nine consecutive games. Abilene captured six district titles in a row in a rugged West Texas league known as the Little Southwest Conference. In Moser's seven years, Abilene won seventy-eight games and lost only seven. In its 1999 wrap-up of the twentieth century in Texas, The Dallas Morning News designated the Eagles of 1954-57 as the "Team of the Century" in high school football. Veteran sports writer Al Pickett explores how Moser worked his magic to galvanize an entire community in support of his program and turn an otherwise ordinary group of high school kids into the best football team in Texas history.
Texas is a diverse state. But the one thing that binds Texans more than their state pride, even more than religion, is football. For the many towns and cities of Texas, high school football is more than a sport or an extracurricular activity—it’s the glue of their community. Author Gray Levy, a high school football coach for more than two decades, became disillusioned with the state of the education system nationwide and traveled to Texas, a place where high school football still matters, to see just what schools and communities were doing right. What he found will both confirm and debunk common presumptions about high school football in Texas, a complex phenomenon that varies by region, school size, and the ethnic diversity of the Lone Star State.
Since the first annual state football champion was crowned in 1920, Texas has never been the same. Today, millions of Texans gather in stadiums across the Lone Star State, eagerly awaiting that magical mid- to late-December moment when the season comes to its dramatic conclusion. Of the 391 high schools reaching the championship matchup, only a handful--26--have won the title four times or more, laying claim to the coveted moniker "dynasty." From Waco High School's fourth title win in 1927 to Stamford's fourth official win in 2012, writer and lifelong football enthusiast Rick Sherrod traces the "best of the best" in this pigskin empire across ninety-three action-packed seasons.
Chronicles the history of the Mighty Mites high school football team from their turn-of-the-twentieth-century origins within a Freemason orphan-and-widow home, to their dominant status in the 1930s and 1940s, to their prestigious state-champion competitions, in an account that also cites the pivotal contributions of team leader Rusty Russell. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
Strongly inviting comparisons with the movie Remember the Titans, this book by veteran sports journalist and author Al Pickett is an inspiring, insider account of the Lubbock Estacado Matadors, who came together for love of a sport to become Texas State AAA High School football champions in their first year of eligibility. In the late 1960s, the Lubbock Independent School District was pressured by the courts to address its still-segregated system, and its response was the new, integrated Estacado High School. Estacado’s first head football coach, Jimmie Keeling, formed and fielded a team of young men who had never played together before and who came from widely differing parts of the social spectrum. Remarkably, he forged a unit that was not only cohesive but highly competitive, rolling undefeated toward a historic championship finish. Mighty, Mighty Matadors features action-packed accounts of Estacado’s championship season, but even more, it offers heartwarming glimpses of the lifelong friendships formed by players who joined hands across racial and social divides to accomplish a goal. In the process, they helped bring pride and unity to their hometown.
"Wishart and the staff of the Center for Great Plains Studies have compiled a wide-ranging (pun intended) encyclopedia of this important region. Their objective was to 'give definition to a region that has traditionally been poorly defined,' and they have
The longest field goal in the history of football was kicked in Texas. But did you know it was love that first led a Swedish soccer player to Texas, where he still lives more than thirty years after his record-setting 69-yard field goal? That story is just one of dozens of unusual and behind-the- scenes stories veteran sports writer and broadcaster Al Pickett has compiled in more than twenty years of covering sports in Texas. Did you know that a tragedy on that same day that Ove Johansson kicked his record field goal changed University of Houston coach Art Briles' life forever? Did you know the greatest high school football coach in Texas history never played high school football himself? Or a case of deja vu helped a Texan win the Masters golf championship? After each chapter of The Greatest Texas Sports Stories You've Never Heard, sports fans in the Lone Star State are certain to say, "I didn't know that." AL PICKETT writes for Dave Campbell's Texas Football, Red Raider Sports, and Total Texas Baseball magazines, and he hosts a daily radio show in Abilene. He is also the author of Team of the Century: The Greatest High School Football Team in Texas (State House Press, 2004) and Wishbone Wisdom, Emory Bellard: Texas Football Visionary as Told to Al Pickett (State House Press, 2010)."

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