Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A look at Canadian and its high school football team

The New York Times has a spread today on the Panhandle town of Canadian and its unifying force, the high school football team, 2007 and 2008 state champions. Here's one paragraph I found particularly telling:

"After an energy boom tapped out in 1985, the downtown in Canadian, population 2,233, grew desolate. A dozen buildings were left empty or boarded up. But the town grew more savvy about the boom-and-bust cycle of oil and gas, remaking itself in the late 1990s as a regional center for ecotourism and refurbishing its downtown with restored brick storefronts, a popular steakhouse and a state-of-the-art movie theater (pictured)."

Later on, the author wrote:

"The current recession has gut-punched oil and gas drilling, costing 400 to 500 local jobs, city officials said. Yet Canadian remains one of Texas’ most prosperous school districts. It has an enrollment of only 798 from pre-K through 12th grade, but the school district’s property values were last assessed at $1.5 billion. Each student in grades 7 through 12 has been issued a laptop computer by the district. The tennis team has four courts on campus. The state champion track team has a new running surface. The football team has an artificial turf field, an 8,500-square-foot field house scheduled to open next month and a sophisticated computer scouting system that can track opponents’ plays for the last five years."

It's a good read. Check it out.

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