"The promise of an empty football field is an irresistible force for those who understand and revere the game," Jeff Wilson observes. Drawn by the sense of possibility and nostalgia inherent in every stadium, Wilson traveled the state of Texas to photograph high school stadiums for a photo essay that appeared in Texas Monthly in August 2005. The magazine's readers responded with an outpouring of enthusiasm, and Wilson's photo essay was nominated for a prestigious National Magazine Award.
In Home Field, Wilson creates a unique photo portrait of nearly eighty Texas high school football stadiums, ranging from the bright lights, artificial turf, and seating for thousands at Southlake Carroll to the lone set of bleachers under the wide open sky in Veribest. Shot from the fifty-yard line facing the home stands, these photographs invite us to view each stadium from the same vantage point and experience it as an evocative place that holds a community's collective memories. Accompanying the photographs are reminiscences about the fields from players, coaches, team physicians, athletic directors, sportswriters and announcers, school superintendents, principals and teachers, band directors, maintenance workers, booster club parents, students, and fans. Their stories—whether funny, nostalgic, or poignant—reveal just how important high school football is to Texans and how it creates an unforgettable sense of community and camaraderie.
Sure to bring back memories as soon as you open the book, Home Field captures what football is supposed to be—"simple and pure, like a perfect spiral arcing gracefully across the sky."