I will again start posting old issues of The Huntress Report, the newsletter I started in 1994. Here's a link to the page where the issues will be posted in pdf form. LINK TO OLD NEWSLETTERS
Six-man 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... or maybe not. Leman Saunders, a former player at Blackwell, has found evidence that the first six-man game in Texas was actually played in 1936, as opposed to the UIL exhibition that was played in the Spring of 1938.
PRAIRIE 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.
Here's a link to more discussion on the history of six-man football on the message board.