Beyond the Friday Night Lights: Featuring Morton

MORTON, TX (KCBD) - "We started out the year, and looked good in our first two scrimmages," Morton head football coach Shean Abston said. "Then once we started to hit the competition, you know real play. We had suffered some pretty hefty defeats, and ended up getting some kids banged up and then you start worrying about the safety of your kiddos."

Coming into the season for Morton High School, the football program had only 19 players on their roster and after some serious injuries while playing their non-conference games. The Indians got down to 14-players, forcing them to cancel their conference schedule and finishing their season.

"Well it was hard, that is the last thing you want," Abston said. "You want your kids to have the high school experience, you know in Texas we are big on high school football. You know, for my seniors. This is my fourth year, so I have had all of those kids since they were freshman. It was unknown when we went to the district executive meeting what was going to be the outcome, and get ready for basketball. We didn't think that we would have the option to go down to six-man."

So, the saying is true for the Morton Indians. When one door closes, another one opens. As the team makes their transition to six-man, there was mixed emotions with the team and the community. As to the way they should feel, as they drop down into a new classification.

"There was a little bit of mix, there was that trepidation thing of, we have always been an 11-man school," said Shean Abston. "You know, not very many people knew a lot about six-man. So, there were kind of mix feelings, a lot of the kids we excited that they still get to play and there were some that were like I don't know about the six-man game."

"Honestly, I didn't want to do it," Morton senior - Johnny Soliz said. "I did not want to play six-man, but coach wanted us to give it a chance and before practice started I didn't think I was going to play.  I was ready to call it quits but coach told me to try it, and I tried it and it turned out to be fun."

So this past Thursday, the Morton Indians hit the road and got to strap their pads on for their first six-man game. Where the community showed unbelievable support, as the team beat Garden City's JV for their first six-man win.

"The thing that was really cool, was to see the smile and joy on my kids' faces," Morton head football coach Shean Abston said. "You know, where they got to go be competitive. You know, where they have been getting blown out by 40-points or more in every game before that. So, it was cool."