Lone Star Gridiron

Gridiron Pilgrimage Part IV


Homage to "the greatest sport in the greatest state."

Join us in this multi-part series built around a love for Texas high school football.  Grant Goodwin (Sideline 2 Sideline) and Kevin McPherson took advantage of the lull in Texas high school football action to pay homage along a route rich in schoolboy football tradition.

Part IV - Sunday

Waking up bright and early in Odessa we made a bee line to Ratliff Stadium, the iconic location of the original Friday Night Lights made famous by Buzz Bissinger. Alas, the stadium was locked from outside the parking lot; however, we were able to squeeze a camera through the gates for a couple of pictures. We made one last quick stop in Odessa, where, on the campus of UT-Permian Basin, we found the peculiar and out-of-place replica of Stonehenge. We giggled a bit and left the “English Countryside,” returning to I-20 east to Midland. Here we found, just a few miles north of I-20, one of our favorite stadiums in West Texas, Grande Communication Stadium. Replete with all of the modern amenities, it was no surprise why so many schools choose this location to play big playoff football games.

Ratliff Stadium

Ratliff Stadium

Texas stonehenge

Texas stonehenge

Grande Stadium

Grande Communications Stadium

A bit tired and beat down by the road, we hopped back on I-20 and continue driving into the sun, towards home. Along the way we made one final stadium stop, finding the color-splashed home of the six-man Trent Gorillas. Trent boasts one of the few artificial turf stadiums in the state’s smallest classification, and most drivers can see it from I-20. After a few minutes, we get back on the road and maintain our cruising speed until we find our last exit, state Highway 16 just north of Strawn. We were even surprised to see, a few miles away, a billboard proclaiming the greatness of Mary’s Café and her infamous chicken fried steak. Most travelers and high school football fans who have ever roamed the edge of west Texas are likely familiar with Mary’s and her CFS. We did not mind the wait and decided this was the best way to finish off a nice west Texas road trip Sideline to Sideline style.

Trent Gorillas

Trent Gorillas' Stadium

Mary's famous chicken-fried steak

Mary's famous chicken-fried steak

We hope you have enjoyed our pilgrimage through some great Texas high school football country.  Look for more articles like this each week during the football season!

by Grant Goodwin & Kevin McPherson

Gridiron Pilgrimage Part I

Gridiron Pilgrimage Part II

Gridiron Pilgrimage Part III

What are your thoughts?