Monday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Marshall High School’s YA Tittle Fieldhouse will be the site of a book signing – or perhaps more like a reunion between football coaches, former players, fans and the community as Hunter Taylor will be on place to present his book, “Tracer la ligne”.
In his book, Taylor dives deep into East Texas high school football from the perspective of former Gilmer Buckeyes head football coach Jeff Traylor, who is now head football coach at the University. from Texas to San Antonio.
“I’ve always wanted to try to write a great story about East Texas and what makes it so distinct, but how do I do it because there’s so much to it,” Taylor said when asked. what had inspired him to write the book. “I always thought about Jeff’s story, after getting to know the staff and their backgrounds, how it related to Jacksonville, how it related to Marshall, I thought that was a cool way to do that.”
The book was a six-year project.
“It was a case study for my doctoral thesis,” he explained. “Then I got hooked and wanted to dig into all of this and focus it on East Texas.”
Taylor has attended several book signings and events and said the feedback has been amazing.
“That was super cool,” he offered. “I think every event is so special and unique in its own way. We had a private event in Longview where I was able to invite some of my old coaches and some of the guys who worked with my dad who coached in the area. That was too cool. It was like a big meeting and I let the other coaches know they were apart as well. Then we had an event that we hosted at Gilmer. The time I’ve spent with Jeff has been in a country house or in a private setting like his own house or something and we did this event at a little restaurant in Gilmer but I had forgotten at what point it is important in there community. It was cool to see how emotionally attached people are to him and this program and how meaningful it is to him.
“Then we had an event in Jacksonville at the Tomato Bowl. The McCowns were there and Danny Long and all these people, Wayne Coleman,” he said.
As for the title, “Draw the line”, was a term Traylor often used.
“One of the biggest games mentioned in the story is when Gilmer plays Gladewater and that was kind of a mantra they used leading up to that game,” he explained. “This is from a speech by Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy SEAL, the Lone Survivor.
“He (Traylor) even used the line during his introductory press conference when he took the job at UTSA when he appealed to the San Antonio faithful: ‘Draw the line and cross- there with me. I’m going to need all of you to help make this program what it can be,” Taylor continued. “I thought it was something that symbolized a lot of different aspects of history.”
East Texas football history has deep roots in Marshall, which is one of the reasons the signing will take place at YA Tittle Fieldhouse.
Dennis Parker (Marshall’s state championship winning coach) comes in and then Danny Long, Wayne Coleman, Matt Turner who all worked for him and they were junior high coaches and then they left and had these great careers but they talked about how that was where they learned to coach,” Taylor concluded.