Here’s the scenario: It’s Christmas eve, and you need a unique gift for your sports-loving friend or family member. We have your solution, and it will teach you more about Texas high school football than you could imagine.
And hey, coming after one of the most epic Class 6A title games in history — heck one of the most remarkable title games in any state’s history — with North Shore’s walk-off, Hail Mary win against Duncanville, it’s hard not to be excited about that, isn’t it?
High School Football in Texas: Amazing Football Stories From the Greatest Players of Texas is the new book from Jeff Fisher, the man behind the High School Football America website and national rankings. Fisher was drafted in to report and write the definitive volume on legendary Texas high school football players, with a view directly on their scholastic experiences rather than what they accomplished thereafter.
The result is a nearly 300-page tour de force of reminiscent fandom and pseudo-voyeuristic insight that explains precisely why Texas football is the nation’s greatest, one anecdote at a time.
The book is structured to focus on players of distinct accomplishments in their groups, from NFL Hall of Famers (and surefire future Hall of Famers) to NFL contributors and Heisman Trophy winners. And it reminds the reader that the greats of the game in the sport’s most sacred state all reached their pinnacles via unique pathways. Sure, there are plenty of sons of coaches, like Raymond Berry, but also the outliers like Saints MVP candidate Drew Brees, who never played tackle football until ninth grade.
And that includes legendary Sealy running back Eric Dickerson, whose Class 4A title game rushing record was finally topped by Cuero’s Jordan Whittington just Friday.
It’s hard to overlook or pick a favorite of the unique anecdotes that Fisher dredges out of his subjects, but some of the forgotten chapters from even the more recent stars are illuminating.
Sure, everyone remembers Johnny Manziel’s star turn and money flashing at Texas A&M. Far fewer remember his dominance at Kerrville (Texas) Tivy High, including one of his few regular season setbacks against a fellow Texas legend in current Rams running back Malcolm Brown (Brown’s Cibolo Steele edged out Tivy in a ridiculous back-and-forth battle).
All of these stories provide a lot to work on in the New Year, and a lot to feed off in a Christmas present. So what are you waiting for? If you’re in Texas, go find the book at a local bookstore. If you’re not? Don’t worry. Just blame the shipping delay on the overworked Postal Service. They don’t deserve the blame, but your friends and family won’t know that, and they’ll definitely appreciate the Texas football knowledge.