by Dr. Dave Keller, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Promising Practices
The game was OK… but what a halftime!
This past week, I had the opportunity to visit the tiny rural town of Chester, Texas (about
100 miles northeast of Houston). On Friday night, I received an invitation to ride into town to watch the local Chester High School football game.
I accepted the invitation (what else was I going to do in Chester on a Friday night???) I know what you’re thinking. Texas High School football. Friday Night Lights. Your mind is likely racing to images of stadiums that cost tens of millions of dollars to support massive football factories that fuel local economies and provide fresh recruits for top collegiate programs.
Ehhh…not so much in Chester, Texas. Chester’s stadium doesn’t even have bleachers. There are some concrete steps built into the side of a small hill, but most fans just bring lawn chairs.
Yes, it is true that Texas is fertile ground for collegiate football recruiters. Not so much in towns like Chester. It’s highly unlikely any player from either team will ever see a collegiate roster. Chester’s school population is so small they don’t even play 11-on-11 football. They play “6-man football,” a scaled down (but highly entertaining) version of the game to allow smaller schools to compete.
Full disclosure: I totally, thoroughly, completely LOVED this experience. The people were astonishingly friendly and welcoming. The crowd size seemed to exceed the population of the entire town --- plus some. It was truly a glimpse into small town America.
No doubt similar scenes were playing out in small towns throughout the country. But my lasting memory of that night had nothing to do with the fun atmosphere or the fierce on-field competition.
It was what happened at halftime.Read More