next few months, I hope to make some additions to what I have
below. This text was written by myself and appears in the
book, "King Football: Greatest Moments in Texas High
School Football History." I also listed a top-10 all-time
six-man games in the book, which I would recommend anyone
buy, but I have not been paid (as well as many of the other
writers in the book) by the guy who published it.
I am also
working on a book of six-man history and literature. I will
go into more detail at a later date.
football was invented in 1934, by a high school coach from
Chester, Nebraska named Stephen Epler, who wanted to find
a way for his players to have the opportunity to play the
game of football. Four years later, the game made it’s
way to the Lone Star state, as the UIL contemplated adding
six-man football to the option allowed for Texas public schools.
In that first year, 1938, only 55 schools participated in
six-man football. A year later, the number grew to 112 schools.
At one time as many as 160 teams participated.
In the early 1940’s, towns that sixty years later still
play six-man football, such as Harrold, Trent, Novice, Groom
and Oglesby, were playing. But also appearing on those early
charts were the then tiny towns of Katy, Friendswood, Dripping
Springs, Copperas Cove and Pearland. Of course many long forgotten
towns that no longer exist or have schools were represented.
Towns like Darrouzett, Oklaunion, Flat, Pecan Gap and Stuart
Place fielded teams in those early seasons.
Today, as we enter
the twenty-first century, a time of consolidation and migration
to the city, the game of six-man football is still alive and
well in Texas. In 2001, there were be 102 public schools and
as many as 50-60 private schools participating. By comparison,
19 teams play in New Mexico, 16 in Colorado and 15 in Montana,
the only other states sanctioning state championships. (writer's.note:
of course there are several teams in various states, like
Nebraska and Kansas, which play six-man football that is not
sanctioned by the state association.)
that started it all
LEA vs. MARTINDALE (Spring 1938)
Very little is known about the exhibition these two squads
put on, other than it was the first six-man football game
played by Texas high school teams. University Interscholastic
League Director, Rodney Kidd, asked coaches at the two schools
located just south of Austin to study the rules. They later
played the exhibition for UIL officials, who must have been
impressed, as they officially sanctioned six-man play for
the fall of 1938.
Both schools competed
in six-man that first fall and tied for the district three
title with Dripping Springs."