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Coach invited to Super Bowl after showing compassion to prison team

Texas needed this.

In the days after a revelation of a girls basketball coach who showed no remorse over his team winning 100-0, another Texas high school coach has moved into the spotlight.

Kris Hogan, the football coach at Faith Christian School in the Dallas area, will be attending the Super Bowl as a guest of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for an action he took earlier this year.

As his team prepared to play the Gainesville State School Tornadoes, he sent an e-mail to every parent at his school.

Make a pregame “spirit line” just as you do for your own kids, he asked. Then root for the visitors.

Gainesville State School is what you think, a school for juvenile offenders. About 260 boys are incarcerated for various reasons. Football is a privilege given only to juniors and seniors who excel in the classroom and obey everywhere else.

“Some weeks I might take 25 or 28 players to a game,” Gainesville coach Mark Williams said. “Sometimes 12 or 13.”

At road games Gainesville gets about 40 fans per game. Teams often greet them with a small banner, sometimes lending the junior varsity cheerleaders.

At Faith, two rows of 100 people lined up for them, stretching about 40 yards. They were connected by a banner roughly 20 feet wide.

“At first, our kids were scared. They were real anxious,” Williams said. “I said, ‘Burst through the banner and have fun!’ ”

As the game progressed, fans continued to beat on 5-gallon drums behind the Gainesville bench cheering for them.

The Faith players offered a hand up to Gainesville players after a hard tackle.

What Hogan saw in the faces of the Gainesville players, even after they lost 33-14, was all the satisfaction he needed.

“I hate it that this thing that we did is so rare,” Hogan said Monday. “Everybody views it as such a big deal. Shouldn’t that be the normal M.O.?”

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