Without Much to do, Football Brings One Small Town to Life.
PAINT ROCK, TX-- If you blink, you'll miss it. The town of Paint Rock, population 287, is smaller than a bug likely to hit your windshield when driving down the highway.
The town is famous for the 1,500-some-odd pictographs left over a thousand years ago by the Native Americans who inhabited the area north of the Concho River up until European settlers made their way west.
A few miles south of the limestone rocks, still in Concho County, the Paint Rock School Indians are trying to leave a mark of their own in the 2017 football season.
The Indians don't boast the most illustrious record in six-man football at 2-5, but that hasn't stopped them from contending for a playoff spot in District 8-1A Division 1.
"I really think we're going to make [playoffs]," said Paint Rock Head Coach Don Gibson.
During the preseason, Coach Gibson said he felt his team would "blow last year's record out of the water."
The Indians had a tough non-district schedule, playing four playoff contenders in their first seven games. Those contenders include tenth-ranked and undefeated Blackwell.
While speaking to Coach Gibson, he felt those non-district games really helped his team in terms of maturing.
"We played a few top-15 teams," said Gibson. "Those games really show you what you're made of."
It's not just the players bringing the energy to the field, according to Gibson.
"Our community's support has been the backbone for us. They're really tied in to what we're doing and they travel well," Gibson noted. "Their support fires the boys up."
That is to be expected in a town that measures 1.64 square miles.
Coach Gibson also cited the fact that most of his players have known each other for years as being another key to their playoff push in 2017.
That push won't come without resistance, however, as the Indians play in a competitive district with the likes of reigning district-champs Santa Anna, Water Valley and Veribest
Behind three of his seniors, Coach Gibson isn't overly worried about the competition.
"Jayton Combs, Jaden Collins and Colton Packer have played well together this year," Gibson said. "They really have a spark."
The Indians will square off with Water Valley (2-5) to open up district play this Friday. While Water Valley smashed Paint Rock 73-28 last year, Coach Gibson remains upbeat heading into the game.
"If our boys stick to the game plan, I think we'll be alright," Coach Gibson said. "Water Valley has speed so we'll have to contain that and play together."
If Paint Rock were to make the playoffs, it would be the first time since 2015 and fourth time in this decade that the Indians would make it to the postseason.