Okla. high school adds football program for first time in 100 years, despite only 10 male students in senior class
Dec 27, 2011, 4:29 PM EST
Want to read a great story about how football saved a high school and invigorated a community? See it now, before it’s made into a mediocre movie starring Keanu Reeves. Oklahoma’s Gracemont High School has never had a football program in its 100-year history, mostly due to the fact that the school is so small — about 40 boys in the entire place, on average. So with a recent budget shortfall and dwindling attendance, Gracemont did the logical thing last year: it added football. Hold it, they did what?
In order to field a team, pretty much every boy in school has to be on the team. And the Lions are a combined 0-13 over the past two seasons. But what the new program has meant to the school, and the community, cannot be measured with numbers. As soon as the plan to field a team was announced, the school began fundraising efforts, a field was built, and the community got together to construct a press box. Among the donors were rival high schools and a nearby Apache Native American community.
“They didn’t understand zero [about football],” teacher/coach Jeremy Scott told Sports Illustrated. “They didn’t know how to throw the ball, how to block. They weren’t dumb, they just didn’t know.
“There were no bad habits to break. They caught on quicker than any other team I’ve coached before.”
It has all served to improve morale, spiff up the school and give residents of Gracemont something to rally around in an era when most high school sports are being cut. And just think what will happen when they finally win a game …
Rather than cut sports, tiny Okla. town adds football program [Prep Rally]
Gracemont (Okla.) helps save its school by adding football program [Sports Illustrated]
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