North of the border
North of the border
2014-07-03 12:00:00

Six-man stars travel to Canada to battle for supremacy.

 By John Loop

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For more than a century, the town of Lubbock has suffered as the butt of jokes in every direction…mostly headed out of town.

Lubbock native Mac Davis sang it best in his song, “Texas In My Rear View Mirror.” 

But all of his complaints are about Lubbock.

Texas Six Man footballers better get their butts in shape in the next few days – for a long, winding and occasionally beautiful drive to the Country of the Maple Leaf.

The football All-Stars left Lubbock on Monday,  road-tripping 27 hours and more than 1,600 miles to Saskatchewan, Canada to play in the 18th annual Can-Am Bowl.

To put that in perspective, that’s an El Paso-to-Texarkana round trip, tacking on an extra 100 miles or so.

Destination: Hague, Saskatchewan.

The best six man players gathered from across the world’s second largest country await.

Team USA Head Coach Bear Chesley says his team is ready for sitting on those cushy(not)  bus seats and playing on the terra firma of Team Canada.

Heck, he’s even throwing in a side trip to Mount Rushmore just to keep things interesting.

“This is a trip of a lifetime for most of these kids and the opportunity to test their Six Man football skills against those big boys up there in Canada,” says Chesley, who, like Ken Kesey, will be “on the bus” with his18 All-Star   players for the duration.

Crossing borders and knocking heads Six Man-style is getting more and more common for American players and their Canadian counterparts.

Last year, Team USA won 64-14.

There’s no 45-point mercy rule in the international game like you see on Six Man fields across Texas.  In 2013, the referees just kept the clock running and didn’t count the last TD of the Texans…err…Americans.

This year’s star-spangled edition of Team USA is again distinctly Texan. Of the 18 players hand-selected for the squad, 12 are from The Lone Star State.

Three hail from Colorado, 2 from Wyoming and 1 from Montana.

Six Man Texas private school players will also don the red, white and blue – three players from Dallas Covenant and two from Rock Round Christian were picked. 

Aquilla, Rankin, Cherokee, Sanderson, Wilson, May and Newcastle will also be well - represented.

“All of these players have graduated so this may be their last time to play Six Man,” adds Coach Chesley, who recently moved from Cherokee to Wilson to be head coach. “It’s very emotional for them. And they get to represent their country too. That’s a very unique way to end a football career.”

And unlike some international competition we’ve seen lately, good sportsmanship will be the rule of the day.

As is tradition in Texas Six Man, both Team USA and Canadian players will kneel in respect if a player is injured and attended to on the field.

The game will end with firm handshakes and prayer, exemplifying the camaraderie we are so proud of across the Friday Night Lights of Texas.

Then, the American boys will reclaim their bus seats, get comfortable, crank up the AC, and start thinking about college and careers.

Let’s hope they’ve got at least 26-30 hours of chillin’, groovin’ tunes loaded up on their pods, pads, or tablets.

Ken Capps is a special contributor to

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