High School Football

Texas Style

Death threats against a Pulitzer Prize winning writer force cancellation of a book tour stop and bring national attention to a high school football game in Odessa, Texas. The writer spent a year with the USA Today national high school champs, the Permian Panthers.  Instead of the flattering portrait the town expected, a critical one appeared.  A win at all costs attitude, racism, and lavish spending on a new stadium in a town suffering from crippling oil related unemployment are issues brought up in the book.

The track team runs by the billboard listing the Panther’s many achievements.

A Panther pom pon girl revs up the students at the all school pep rally before the big game with cross town rivals, Odessa High School.

An oil well in the stadium parking lot pumps as the stands start to fill up.

Team members meditate on the upcoming game before getting dressed. The locker room is silent before the game.

Panther team captains hold hands as they walk onto the field for the coin toss.

A coach gives his line last minute instructions before the kickoff.

Fans in the state-of-the-art 20,000-seat high school stadium even cheer enthusiastically for the half time show.


The Panther’s trainer fans the star running back during the game.


The Panthers celebrate their victory as the game ends.

Teammates embrace after the game.

An impromptu victory dance snakes around the locker room.

The celebration continues in the shower.

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