Time flies. Two years ago this summer, New Times teamed up with Valley Bar to create a monthly live reading series. Our tagline: True Stories. And Drinks. We’ve lived up to that, with more than two dozen shows on the books — and documented in our podcast, available for free on the iTunes store. For information about upcoming shows, or to find out how to participate, visit barfliesaz.com. This week, we are sharing three of our all-time favorite Bar Flies stories, each touching on the theme “Back to School.”
Throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, Round Valley High School, in the tiny White Mountain town of Eagar, Arizona, was a football factory. By the time I got there, the Round Valley Elks had enjoyed more than 70 winning seasons in a row, won two recent state championships, and had set the state record for consecutive victories with 34.
We were coached by a squat, sadistic, no-neck little pile of muscle and gut named Tot Workman. Despite standing all of 5-foot-5, Workman exuded a loud, intimidating, and supreme confidence in his authority and ability to motivate young men to do — with as much intensity as humanly possible — whatever he told them. A devout Mormon, Workman’s voice was nevertheless perpetually hoarse from screaming at us. These tirades included the occasional epithet, which would then produce more anger at us for having made him break one of the tenets of the faith. We would succeed, he told us, “if I have to sacrifice every drop of blood in your bodies.” He meant it. The idea that coaches shouldn’t haul their players around by their facemasks, or hit them, had not caught on in our town.
I’m not trying to brag, but I believe I…
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