Go! Fight! Win!

Presenting the top twenty Texas high school football programs of all time. Let the debate begin.
BOBCAT NATION: Celina, which set the record for the state’s longest winning streak, ranks number eight.
Photograph by Fred Helms

It may be the oldest argument in Texas sports: Which high school football program is the greatest ever? It may also be the hardest to win: How can you compare Abilene High, which won 49 consecutive games in the fifties, with Southlake Carroll, a suburban juggernaut that has won four out of the past five 5A Division II titles?

Easy—I looked at the numbers.

Great teams win championships, so I started way back in 1920, when the University Interscholastic League first sanctioned a state title game (in what must have been a forgettable matchup, Houston Heights and Cleburne tied 0–0). I assigned schools ten points for each championship and five points for being a runner-up. To reward consistency over the years, I also awarded three points for each district title. (I used overall wins as a tiebreaker.) That formula yielded our top twenty teams, and it helped ensure that a small program had just as much of a chance as a big one, since schools play in classes that are based on enrollment.

Finding accurate records going back nearly a century can be tricky; documents get lost or destroyed over time. And though schools are responsible for keeping their own statistics, they aren’t always perfectly reliable. A few years back texas monthly called one prominent coach to find out about his team’s winning streak. When asked how many games he had won, he replied, “Well, I’m not sure exactly.” I did the best I could to match the school’s information with other sources, such as the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, in Waco, and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

As you’ll see, some of the teams on this list are perennial favorites; others were dominant decades ago but have struggled as of late. But all of them, at the end of their championship seasons, could once say that they were the best in Texas.


Wichita Falls

1. Wichita Falls


Location: Wichita Falls
Nickname: Coyotes
Class: 4A
First Season: 1911
State Titles: 6 (1941, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1961, 1969)
Runners-up: 4 (1937, 1959, 1960, 1971)
District Titles: 45
Overall Record: 614-315-47


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