Power of Football: How the sport impacts communities across the U.S.

In the halls of Grand Island High School in Nebraska, you’ll find class photos dating to the 1920s, filled with generations of similar faces.

When the Islanders football team takes the field now, you see the new Grand Island, an increasingly diverse community that comes together on Friday nights to celebrate the program and school that helps create tomorrow’s leaders.

Along with last names like Jones, Evans and Hughes, you see Aparicio, Ahmed and Koang. Its players have roots from down the street all the way to Kenya, and they serve as a reminder that we’re all one people, striving for the best possible present and future together.

That is the Power of Football.

It’s a power that unifies cities and small towns across the country, like in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the Snider High School team gets on the bus every Friday during the season, because it doesn't have an on-campus stadium.

Also, two hours south at Knightstown, where you’ll find the majority of its 2,100 proud inhabitants loudly cheering on the Panthers each game night.


And at Columbus East in the southern half of the state, where a 39-year head coach is responsible for the most successful era in the school’s athletic history.