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Waldron team prepares for first-ever high school football game

The school, which won a boys state basketball title 18 years ago, begins play in an eight-player league on Sept. 10.

WALDRON, Ind. — Life moves a little bit more slowly in the Shelby County town of Waldron.

Waldron's sports claim to fame has long been a 2004 boys basketball state title.

Times are changing.

For many decades, small Waldron High School has wanted to put a football team on the field. They are proving dreams still become reality, because it's finally happening.

Ethan Richardson is a senior and a member of this first-ever football team at the school.

"I played it back when I was younger, and to be able to play in high school, that's kind of a huge thing," he said. "I didn't ever think it would happen, but here we are."

Ethan and his teammates will compete in an eight-player league sanctioned by the IHSAA for schools that don't have large numbers of athletes. 

Coach Corey Barton grew this program over the past eight years.

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"I'm really excited about it," Barton said. "It's something no kid from Waldron has ever done here, so we're making history here this year. Having the high school team is something everybody's always dreamed of. We went around with petitions. It's been shot down for years, so we built a youth program and here we are."

There are only 20 team members, but they're ready for their first game coming up under the lights.

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"All the kids are excited about it. We're going to have a big community tailgate out here, hopefully, first game Sept. 10. I'm hearing from people in the community, community I've never met, they're going to come out and watch this football game. I think football's America's sport. I mean, we may be a basketball state, but we're in America, too, so football is going to be popular!"

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