Six

A Football Coach's Journey to a National Record

The story of Bill Welsh and the national-record-setting Claremont Honkers six-man football team of the 1940s and 1950s
Six

Purchase

$16.95, Paperback
ISBN: 9780984504145
$9.95, ePub EBook
ISBN: 9780985281731
$9.95, Mobi EBook
ISBN: 9780985281731
 

"Six is a winner!"—Six Man Central

“The legendary highschool six-man football teams of the 1940s and 1950s from Claremont have been talked about for years, but most of that information has been locked away in the minds of those who were there. Marc Rasmussen did sports fans across South Dakota a great service by unlocking those vaults and telling the real stories of the Honkers.”—John Papendick, Chief Sports Editor, Aberdeen American News

Six is the story of a man and a community that needed each other, and came together at the perfect time. You will feel every possible emotion--from the over-confidence of the players and fans from Hankinson and Hecla before they knew what they were getting into, to the quiet assurance of Coach Welsh and his Claremont Honkers, to the anticipation and excitement of the local fans waiting for the rifle shot signaling another Honkers' victory, to the deep love of a family and small town for their husband, father and coach. Clear your calendar before you start reading, because you won't put it down.”—Gary Ellenbolt, past-sport reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Six scores! It takes you back to a time when South Dakota, and the country, was fascinated by the fast and exciting game of six-man football. Coach Welsh’s story is truly inspiring, and what the Claremont Honkers were able to achieve deserves the attention.”—Matt Holsen, sport reporter for KELO-TV

A "great book that digs into the sports world after World War II. [Six] tells of how football energized a small community and gave them purpose during touch economic times. Anyone who has ever put on a pair of sneakers would enjoy this book."—Amazon reviewer

"I have officiated six man football for thirty years, and was happy to see a book about the history of the sport. Mr. Rasmussen paints a heart warming of a coach that overcomes personal tragedy to help establish six man football, not only at his school or in South Dakota, but throughout the nation. Winning with excellent sportsmanship is a great legacy of the team, the town and it's coach. Every football coach should read this book as it describes how to build a program that incorporates community support, player integrity, and tactical simplicity. The ability to get the entire community behind the program is essential to a good football program and this book shows how that can be accomplished through hard work and tenacity. Building the players into much more than athletes also is a mark of a good program. Finally, the emphasis on fundamentals and being able to execute a few plays to near perfection would be a trait many coaches should adopt. This is a fun and easy read for those interested in the history of football. Mr. Rasmussen allows the reader to feel what it was like for a fan to watch the game, right down to sitting in one of the many cars surrounding the field as the snow was coming down. True small town Americana at it's very best!"—Amazon reviewer

3.jpgIn the 1940s and 1950s, unable to field competitive eleven-man football teams, small towns across the United States started playing six-man football, instead.

Claremont, South Dakota, was one such place. Bill Welsh strode into town in 1947, started a six-man team at the high school, and six years later had racked up a national-record of sixty-one consecutive victories. His career as a high-school football coach is without equal. His role as mentor, coach, and teacher influenced the lives of many young men across the state, but his legacy is that of the Claremont Honkers and their domination of six-man football in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

Marc Rasmussen has revealed this hidden history, unveiling the many facets of Bill Welsh’s life and shining a spotlight on the sport of six-man football and the all-conquering Honkers.

Claremont Honker Team Records:

61 consecutive wins, a national record; 6 all time state championships, second best in nation; 6 consecutive state championships, a national record; 94 points against Frederick in 1951, the most points in a game by one team, second best in nation; 65 points per game in 1950 season, a national record; 606 points scored in 1948 season, second best in nation; 585 points scored in 1950 season, third best in nation; 62 wins by a coach, a national record—Willis Welsh had one single loss, giving him the best winning percentage in the entire sport at 98.4%.

22.jpg