For the people of Strawn, Texas, high school football is a religion that deserves enthusiastic dedication. But — because their congregation is much smaller than many others in Lone Star Funds — they practice their faith in a slightly different way.
In Strone, they play six-player soccer. This is a variation of the sport adopted by a group of rural Texas schools that don’t have enough kids to form a team of 11 regulated people. The game started in Nebraska in 1934 and has been played in several other states, including Colorado, New Mexico, and Dakotas.
“The biggest difference [from 11-man] Documentary filmmaker Jared Christopher follows the Strone team’s 2019 season with the six-part documentary Texas 6, saying: “They are so fast that hits can be more violent with six people. They hit, run and catch, but the field is 80 yards instead of 100 yards. Still football I feel like. “
The show, which premieres Thanksgiving on CBS All Access, records the team’s quest to win the state title for the third consecutive year, drawing attention to life in a small blue-collar town with no signal. Christopher, who lives near Fort Worth, didn’t know there were six men until he went looking for ideas for a new project. He discovered Strawn by word of mouth.
“The point was to find a football story you’ve never seen before,” said Christopher behind the award-winning web series Titletown, Texas, about the perfect season for Aled High in 2016. I told you.
He drove to Strone and met their highly competitive coach, Dewayne Lee, who soon learned that he had hit Grislon Gold.
“As a documentary filmmaker, you’re looking for access and character. It was clear that he was magnetic.” Christopher became even more confident after Lee introduced star player JW Montgomery. It was. JW Montgomery is only 5 feet 6 pounds and 145 pounds. This is a human embodiment of a small but powerful Strone Greyhound.
“He lived about 50 yards from school and could see him with his dog, but as I approached, I noticed he was playing with a pig,” Christopher said. Said.
Christopher also focuses his lenses on the mild-mannered quarterback Blaze Duncan, who has never met his father and is raised with his brother by a devoted grandmother.
“This isn’t just football. It’s about the family. It’s about what it means to this town, and the town shows them important children. I think it’s these bigger schools. I think it will be lost in. At Strone, it’s very intimate, “said Christopher.
Intimacy is an understatement. In 2020, Strawn, equidistant between Abilene and Dallas, had only 16 children in its graduation class. The school principal also drives a school bus and teaches two algebraic classes. Residents work at a local concrete block factory, ranch, or Mary’s Cafe, famous for its chicken fried steak. I don’t have much to do other than sports. Children know that they are unlikely to play soccer again after fourth grade.
“It’s not just football. It’s about the family.”
And there is the team’s beloved and passionate coach.[The story] Soccer is at the heart of it, “says Christopher.
Or, as townspeople and series regular Jim Elmore said about Lee, “He’s the best he’s ever come to a mortgage.”
Lee grew up in Crane, Texas, adjacent to Odessa, a town featured in 1990’s HG Bissinger’s best-selling Friday Night Lights. This book, and later a popular television series broadcast from 2006 to 2011, introduced the world to a particular brand of Texas high school football fandom.
He played Division II balls at Eastern New Mexico University and came across six-player football after being hired as an assistant in a small high school in Texas in his early twenties.
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“I wasn’t going to coach this sissy football,” Lee told Post. But “it was a job, and I’m going to stay because I’m poor.” But he soon became a convert to a fast-paced variation. Looking at the series, he expects something to happen to the viewer.
“When people start seeing it, they love it. It’s addictive.” He coached at two other schools before arriving at Strone with his wife Dennis in 2003. I won the championship in the first year.
“When I moved here, it was another level. People came out and they knew football and supported it. You can’t fool them. I arrived Then one kid said to me, “Coach, this is real football. Strawn does it another way.” I said, “OK, me too.” “
“These kids are alive and breathing football. They are raised in it.”
Indeed, Lee has his own formula. Its main ingredients are intense strength and tough affection, and he cooks regularly during practice and match days. In the open, he shuttles players to doctor appointments, buys food before the match, and in the case of Duncan, plays the role of surrogate father.
On Monday, Lee welcomes locals to watch a game movie with him — an open door policy that could be a career suicide in a larger program.
“When I lose a game I should have won, the last thing I want to do is show that dung video. It’s not always fun, but you have to face the music. You have to look into the human eye. There is, “he said.
He makes it clear that the team belongs to the town. In fact, there is no name behind the player’s jersey, only Made In Strawn’s “MIS”, which is a premise that resonates throughout “Texas 6”.
“These kids live and breathe football,” Lee said. “They are raised in it.”
“Texas 6” sheds light on high school football in a small town
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