Victoria native shares love for high school football
Sept. 6, 2017 at 11:54 p.m.
Updated Sept. 6, 2017 at 11:58 p.m.
Chris Doelle and fellow Industrial graduate Mike Wright started Lone Star Gridiron as a way to get into high school football games without paying.
Doelle had no idea their plan would turn into something more permanent.
Lone Star Gridiron is now 14 years old and one of the most well-known high school football websites in the state.
The website covers every classification and every region in the state, includes historical data, stats and records.
Doelle, 52, grew up in Victoria and attended high school at Industrial where he played wide receiver and cornerback for coach Bob Nicholson.
"I've always been a cheerleader for the sport because I saw how it affects young men," said Doelle, who resides in Wimberley. "It has an opportunity to really impact young men's lives."
Doelle's intent when he started Lone Star Gridiron was to focus on the positive aspects of the sport and shy away from the sensational.
"I said that right up front," Doelle emphasized. "We're going to do this and we're not going to touch any negative stories. I could get hits easy if I touched those negative stories. But I wasn't interested in that. I was interested in sharing what a good thing Texas high school football is for society."
The website features podcasts during the season and Doelle decided to do a weekly show with Ken Purcell after hearing him speak at the Texas High School Coaches Association's coaching school two years ago.
Purcell spent 41 years in high school athletics before retiring as the athletic director of the Denton school district in December of 2013.
Denton schools won eight state championships under Purcell from 1997 to 2013.
He was also the head football coach at Allen for 13 years and was inducted in the coaches association's Hall of Honor in 2009.
Doelle was so impressed with Purcell's knowledge of the game and the response he drew from listeners that he came up with the idea of writing a book.
"We were six, seven weeks into doing it and I said we should write a book," Doelle said. "He said, 'I don't write.' I said, 'I do,' and I told him to get his thoughts together and get them to me and I would edit the thing."
The result is "All I Need to Know I Learned from my Texas High School Football Coach."
The book is available in paperback and e-book editions on Amazon.
Doelle has also created a website - learnedfromcoach.com - for the book.
Doelle believes readers will be able to gain some insight into what makes Texas high school football special.
"It covers things like why football is different than other sports, why Texas is different than other states," Doelle said, "and some of the things that are taught - poise, character, class."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.