Sports

Chapter 1: Football

EL PASO, TEXAS - ========================================

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A sad but true fact: No El Paso area public school eleven man football team has ever won a Texas state championship. In fact, no El Paso area public school eleven man football team has ever advanced past the third round of the playoffs.

Why can’t an El Paso team win the state title? This is a question that is debated in many quarters including on the very excellent website, EPGRIDIRON.com.

I will not answer that question for you in this book other than to say that I believe that there are many reasons, the main one being that there isn’t a strong enough commitment from the main school districts to do so.

I plan to write another book reliving some of the great football games played in El Paso during my life time. My plan is devote a chapter in that book to answer the question of why an El Paso team can’t win a state title.

Will an El Paso team ever win a state football title? Perhaps, but not unless there are some major changes in the way the school districts view the question. Again, I will not discuss those changes in this book. Since I can’t write about any state titles in El Paso eleven man football, I’ve decided to write about the teams that have come the closest.

The 1937 Austin High School Panthers are the only team in El Paso history to finish a season undefeated. The story of the ’37 Panthers is well documented in Ray Sanchez’s excellent book, “The Good, The Bad, and The Funny of El Paso Sports History”.

I highly recommend you read Ray’s book if you want the full story of the ’37 Austin team. The Panthers finished that season with an 11-0-1 record with a 3-0 playoff victory over Abilene. Austin’s next playoff opponent was Wichita Falls. The game ended in a 7-7 tie but the Wichita team advanced in the playoffs because they beat Austin 3-2 on penetrations. A penetration, for those of you that are not familiar with the way playoff games used to be decided, is when a team gets inside its opponents 20 yard line.

Austin’s season ended on this archaic paper statistic. Fortunately, today high school and college games are now decided on the field in overtime periods. No team will ever have to suffer the disappointment of losing a playoff game due to penetrations. Several other El Paso teams have also won or loss games because of penetrations----Eastwood, Coronado, and Bowie just to name a few. Could have the 1937 Austin High Panthers won the state championship? No one will ever know for sure but Wichita Falls was not the state champion of that year.

2016 High School Football Update

Cathedral High School became the first El Paso area 11 man football team to win a state championship when they captured the TAPPS Division 5 state championship. Please read about Cathedral's historical season in my 2016 Fall Sports Update if you wish to learn more about the championship run.

Canutillo had an unbeaten regular season. Bowie had a 9-1 regular season which was second only to the 1971 Bears unbeaten regular season. Several other high schools saw great success during the season. El Paso High had a very good first half season and were in the playoff race until the final week of the season. Clint was unbeaten for a huge portion of the season and Montwood rebounded from a terrible 2015 season to once again make the playoffs.

Several players had great individual seasons. Among the best players in the El Paso area are Joshua Fields at Americas, Deron Hankins at Parkland, and Tyquez Hampton at El Dorado. All should be highly sought after Division 1 prospects upon their high school graduation.

With all that said, I would have to say that El Paso area high school football took a step backwards during the 2016 season. This was true during the early season and certainly was very telling during the bi-district and area rounds of the state playoffs. The 6A teams and some of the 5A teams play out of town teams during the first two or three weeks of the season. The out of town competition usually features teams from Las Cruces, the Permian Basin, or the Lubbock area.

El Paso area teams were 6-10 against the out of town competition which is not all that bad. The post season was a different story. None of the 5A teams advanced past the bi-district round and only Americas was able to win a bi-district game in the 6A ranks. Even worse, the playoff games were not very competitive with the El Paso area teams getting beat by huge margins. The following is a summary of 2016 season for the various classifications:

6A Football
El Dorado (8-3; 6-1), Montwood (7-4; 6-1) and Americas (9-3; 6-1) all finished tied for first place in the District 1-6A football race. Franklin (4-7) was the fourth playoff representative in the 6A ranks. Americas was the only El Paso area team to win a Bi-district game when the Trail Blazers beat Frenship 30-16 to advance to the Area stage. Americas playoff run came to an end a week later when they were soundly defeated by Abilene 55-0. The three other 6A representatives were defeated in Bi-District action. El Dorado lost to Midland 73-52, Montwood was defeated by Tascosa 47-16, and Franklin was routed by San Angelo Central 72-7.

5A Football
Bowie (9-2; 6-1) and Andress (8-3; 6-1) shared the top spot in District 1-5A although the Bears defeated the Eagles during the regular season. Chapin (9-3) and Burges (6-5) were the other 1-5A playoff representatives. Canutillo (11-1) returned to its winning ways finishing the regular season undefeated and were District 2-5A champions. Del Valle (7-4), Eastlake (7-3), and Parkland (8-4) were the other 2-5A playoff representatives. Bi-District action saw Canutillo defeating Burges 33-26, Parkland beating Bowie 55-35, Eastlake defeated Andress 35-32, and Chapin beat Del Valle 17-14. All four El Paso area teams would see their seasons end the following week in Area Round action. Canutillo took its perfect 11-0 record and met Abilene Cooper. Cooper defeated the Eagles 55-23. Parkland was defeated by Lubbock

Cooper 48-28. Chapin was beaten by Lubbock Coronado 31-14 while Eastlake was defeated by Lubbock Monterey 59-26.

4A Football
Mountain View, Clint, and Fabens were the El Paso area playoff contenders in the 4A Classification. Unfortunately all three were defeated in Bi-District action. Mountain View lost to Levelland 63-12, Clint was defeated by Pampa 45-21, and Fabens lost to Lubbock Estacado 48-0.

2A Football
Anthony was the only El Paso area team to make the 2A playoffs. Anthony was defeated by Post 33-7 in Bi-District action

El Paso area teams had made great strides in recent years in the state playoffs but 2016 was a different story. It is probably unrealistic to hope for another deep playoff run like the one that Canutillo made in 2014 but El Paso area teams had been holding their own against out of town competition in the Bi-District and Area rounds. Hopefully the 2017 season will see a return to the recent success.

2015 El Paso Area High School Football Update

El Paso area high school football reached such an incredible height with the performance of the 2014 Canutillo High School Eagles that it was probably impossible to repeat that accomplishment. Many teams began the 2015 season with high hopes and to be fair several of those teams had outstanding years. Eastwood High School finished the season with the best performance of any 6A school winning a Bi-District game. Eastlake High School was sole survivor of the El Paso area 5A teams after the Area round of the playoffs as the Falcons won both Bi-District and Area round games. Eastlake was my (and many others) pre-season pick to advance the deepest in the state playoffs and the Falcons didn’t disappoint me. The area 4A teams failed to make it past the Bi-District stage. Here is a list of the El Paso area playoff representatives for each conference:

4A Football

  Mountain View, Clint, and Fabens were the El Paso area representatives in the 4A playoffs. Unfortunately, none of the teams made it past the Bi-District round. Mountain View was defeated by Pampa 47-11. Clint lost to Borger 34-27 and Fabens was ousted by Levelland 52-7.

 

5A Football

  Eight teams from the El Paso area entered the 5A state tournament with high hopes. Chapin High School, Andress High School, Bowie High School, and Burges High School represented District 1-5A while Eastlake High School, Del Valle High School, Ysleta High School, and Bel Air High School were the District 2-5A contenders.  Bi-District area saw Chapin beat Bel Air 32-2, Del Valle defeated Andress 36-16, Burges beat Ysleta 29-23, and Eastlake defeat Bowie 62-14. Chapin, Del Valle, Burges, and Eastlake would represent the El Paso area high schools in the Area round of the playoffs.

  Only Eastlake would make it past the Area round of the state playoffs. Chapin was defeated by Randall 53-35, Del Valle lost to Abilene Cooper 31-14, Burges was beaten by Canyon 42-7, and Eastlake defeated Lubbock Cooper 24-21 to advance to the Regional Quarter Finals.

  Eastlake was confident going into its Regional Quarter Final match up with Lake Dallas High School.  The 2015 season began on a bad note for Eastlake as the Falcons were soundly defeated by El Dorado High School 70-49 in the first game of the year. El Dorado would go on to capture the 1-6A district title and may have had the best football team in the El Paso area. The loss to El Dorado would be the only blemish on Eastlake’s record as the Falcons won 11 straight games, including two playoff matchups.

  Eastlake had reached Regional Quarter-Final stage of the playoffs in 2014 and thought that experience would propel them into the next stage of the state tournament. The game featured two teams that were mirror images of each other. Both teams were Falcons and both featured balanced offenses. Eastlake played well in the first half taking the early lead before going into half time tied at 21-21. Eastlake actually had a chance to take the lead into half time but had a bad snap on a field goal attempt. Unfortunately, Lake Dallas proved to be the much better team in the second half. Lake Dallas shut down the Eastlake offense while scoring 30 second half points of their own. Lake Dallas would go on to win the game 51-21. Eastlake has a lot to be proud of and I hope they remember their entire 2015 seasons. The Falcons are a young program and have made it to the Regional Quarter Finals the last two years. The future is bright.

 

Eastlake High School’s Playoff Run:

9-1 Regular Season Record (only defeat was against El Dorado 70-49 in the first game of the year)

Round One: Defeated Bowie High School 62-14 (Bi-District)

Round Two: Defeated Lubbock Cooper 24-21 (Area)

Round Three: Lost to Lake Dallas 51-21 (Regional Quarter-Final)

 

 

6A Football

  The El Paso area 6A football teams play a very tough pre-district schedule and then take turns beating each other up in the district race. It’s no wonder that the 6A teams have nothing left when they enter the state playoffs. The 2015 football season was a rare exception. El Dorado High School won the District race with Americas High School, Eastwood High School, and Montwood High School also qualifying for the playoffs. Eastwood was led by a new coaching staff; Montwood returned to its’ usual form after a very disappointing 2014 season; Americas played well most of the season; and El Dorado won its’ first 6A District title.

  The 6A teams entered the Bi-District stage of the playoffs with high hopes of representing the El Paso area well. Eastwood and Americas would survive the Bi-District round but Montwood and El Dorado would see their seasons come to an end. El Dorado was shocked by Amarillo Tascosa 66-40 while Montwood was beaten by Amarillo 44-27. Americas defeated Lubbock Monterey 35-28 and Eastwood beat Frenship 47-40.

  Eastwood and Americas would be the El Paso area’s representatives in the Area stage of the state playoffs. Americas met a very strong San Angelo Central team and played well in the first half before losing to the Bobcats 51-27. Eastwood played a very tough game against Arlington Lamar and had an excellent chance to win going into the fourth quarter. It wasn’t to be as Lamar outlasted the Troopers and won 42-35.

  The 2015 season saw several teams that have bright futures. Eastwood returned to prominence with a new coaching staff. Montwood regained their form after performing well in the 2015 7 on 7 games. Americas continues to be one of the El Paso area’s best teams. Coronado and Franklin didn’t perform well in 2015 but will probably return to form in 2016. Eastlake is a young program and will continue to do well in the future. Del Valle and Chapin will always be tough. Robert Padilla will have the Bowie Bears in the playoff race again in 2016. Don’t forget about Canutillo. The Eagles lost too many players from their 2014 team but look out in 2016 if Coach Brooks can develop a quarterback. The 2016 season promises to be another exciting year for El Paso area high school football.

 

2014 Update: Canutillo High School Makes El Paso Area Football History

The year of 2014 was a very good one for El Paso area high school football. Eastlake High School and Del Valle High School each made it to the third round (Regional) of the state playoffs before being defeated by narrow margins. History was made by the Canutillo High School Eagles when they became the first El Paso area UIL 11 man football team to reach the semi-final round of the 5A Division II Texas Football playoffs. Canutillo actually made El Paso area football history when they defeated Azle High School 17-10 in the third round (Regional) of the playoffs and advanced to the fourth round (Quarter) to play Everman. The historic march continued when the Eagles defeated Everman and advanced to the Semi-Finals to play Ennis. I make the distinction of UIL 11 man football because Jesus Chapel, Faith Christian, and Immanuel Christian have all won state titles in the private and parochial state playoffs. Jesus Chapel has won 4 titles, Faith Christian has won 2 championships, and Immanuel Christian has won one championship. I will talk about these titles later in this chapter. I will now discuss the seasons of Eastlake, Del Valle, and Canutillo in more detail.

Eastlake High School: The Falcons are the newest high school in El Paso but have made the playoffs in 2 of their 3 years of varsity competition. Eastlake finished the season with an 8-4 record after losing to Everman High School 31-20 in the regional stage of the state playoffs. The Falcons led this game going into the 4th quarter. The 8-4 record was quite remarkable when you consider that Eastlake lost each of their first three games of the season before coming together as a team and putting together 8 straight wins. The Falcons dropped contests to El Paso El Dorado 31-13, Las Cruces Onate 21-14, and Amarillo Palo Duro 35-0. Eastlake’s most impressive victory during the season was probably against Del Valle High School. The Falcons playoff run began with a Bi- District win over Bowie High School 41-7. Eastlake then defeated Lubbock Cooper High School 32-14 in the Area round before losing to Everman in the Regional round. The future is very bright for the Falcons and I look for them to be a perennial playoff contender.

Del Valle High School: The Conquistadors have a lengthy, proud football tradition and have been playoff contenders for many years. The 2014 team was led by highly regarded and sought after quarterback Steven Montez. Montez was recruited by many colleges before committing to the University of Colorado. Del Valle finished the season with a record of 11-2 after losing to 2013 state champion and currently ranked #1 in the state, Aledo High School 37-21 in the Regional round of the playoffs. Del Valle’s only loss during the regular 2014 season was to the aforementioned Eastlake Falcons. The Conquistadors narrowly defeated Chapin High School 42-35 in a Bi-District matchup. Chapin is another of El Paso’s very strong football teams. Del Valle then defeated Amarillo Palo Duro 38-17 in Area stage of the playoffs. Palo Duro had defeated Eastlake earlier in the season. The Area victory would set up a Regional matchup with perennial state power Aledo. The Conquistadors played a very respectable game against the defending state champions before falling 37-21. I would expect Del Valle to continue its playoff run for many more years to come.

Canutillo High School: The 2014 Eagles accomplished what no other El Paso area UIL 11 man football team had done before. Canutillo became the first El Paso area team to make it to the fourth round (Quarter Final) of the state playoffs and then continued their historic march with a Semi-Final match up against Ennis High School. The Eagles had come close to making history in 2013 when they led Wichita Falls at halftime of their Regional matchup before turning the ball over too much in the second half ending their playoff run. The loss left a bitter taste in Canutillo’s mouth and the Eagles were determined to make amends in 2014. The 2014 season was a remarkable one for Canutillo.  Their only loss was to Franklin High School 24-13 in the second game of the year. Many observers thought Canutillo was the better of the two teams but lost the game because of turnovers and questionable officiating. The Eagles then ran off 12 straight wins, most by very lopsided scores. The Eagles playoff run began with a Bi-District victory over Ysleta High School 63-28. Canutillo would then defeat San Angelo Lakeview 27-10 in an Area round match up. This set up a Regional matchup with Azle High School. The Eagles were very confident going into the game with the Dallas area Azle squad. The Hornets featured a dual threat running game but the strength of the Canutillo squad was its defense. The Eagles shut down Azle and won the Regional matchup 17-10 and thereby created El Paso area football history. A Quarter Final matchup against Everman was next up for the Eagles. Everman had defeated Eastlake High School the week before to advance to the game.  Canutillo continued its historic playoff run on December 6th, 2014 with a 17-10 victory over Everman High School. The Eagles never trailed in the game leading 7-0 at halftime and 14-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Everman tied the game 14-14 in the 4th quarter which allowed Canutillo’s placekicker, Frank Avila, to become the game’s hero. Avila calmly and confidently kicked a 22 yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the game and sent the Eagles soaring into the state semi-finals with a 17-10 victory over Everman. Next up would be the battle with perennial state power Ennis High School.

Canutillo had certainly made El Paso area football history. Not only had the Eagles won four playoff games but now they were going to play Ennis for an opportunity to play for 5A Division II state championship. I had never seen the citizens of the El Paso area, not only Canutillo fans, so proud of their local high school team. You could see “Go Eagles” signs all over the city. Orange became the favorite color in the city. Stories about the Eagles dominated the newspapers and local television newscasts for the entire week leading up to the game. The Canutillo Independent School District decided to cancel school on December 12th to allow students to make the trip to Lubbock, Texas to support their Eagles. The fans were cautiously optimistic that Canutillo would be victorious over Ennis. A victory over the Lions would not be an easy accomplishment. Ennis is located south of Dallas. The Lions have a proud football tradition winning 4 state championships in the past and reaching the state semi-finals in 2013 before losing to eventual state champion, Aledo. The Lions had a very strong football team which had at least 8 players that had already signed to play major college football. Ennis entered the game with a 12-2 record with 12 straight wins. Canutillo entered the game with a 14-1 record winning 13 straight games. Both teams featured very strong defenses but Ennis had a much better offensive team. Canutillo had played several teams in the playoffs that were run dominated. The Lions of Ennis had a balanced offense and could run and pass the football equally well. It would be the passing game that would prove to be too much for Canutillo. The Eagle defense played well in the first half but could not stop the Ennis passing attack which featured a pair of 6 foot 6 inch receivers. The Lions used their height to catch several passes that led to 3 touchdowns in the first half. Canutillo displayed a gutsy, no quit attitude during the first half and showed the Lions that they were in a battle for four quarters. Canutillo kicked a field goal late in the first half that made the score 13-10 and seemingly would give the Eagles the momentum going into the third quarter but unfortunately Ennis would mount an 80 yard touchdown drive in the last two minutes of the half to take a 20-13 lead into halftime. The third quarter would feature even better defense by both teams but it was evident that Canutillo’s was tiring out. Ennis would prove the stronger of the two teams shutting out the Eagles in the second half and eventually winning the game by a 41-13 score. Canutillo’s historic season came to an end on December 12th but the Eagles had made the city of Canutillo, Texas and the whole El Paso area very proud. I don’t know if another Sun City area team will ever equal or surpass the record set by the 2014 Eagles but the team has shown the rest of Texas that El Paso area teams can play football. The Canutillo players should keep their heads up and be very proud of their season. The season maybe over but the Canutillo players have made a lot of memories that will last a life time. Canutillo’s football team was dominated by seniors but I have no doubt that the Eagles will remain a force in El Paso for many years to come. The following is Canutillo’s 2014 playoff run:

  • Bi-District: Canutillo defeated Ysleta High School 63-28
  • Area         : Canutillo defeated San Angelo Lake View High School 27-10
  • Regional : Canutillo defeated Azle High School 17-10.
  • Quarter   : Canutillo defeated Everman High School 17-14
  • Semi        : Canutillo lost to Ennis High School 41-13

This writer would like to personally thank the Canutillo Eagles for a season to remember and for proving that teams from El Paso can play football.

El Paso Football History Prior to 2014

A sad but true fact: No El Paso area public school 11 man football team has ever won a Texas State Championship. In fact, no El Paso area public school 11 man football team has ever advanced past the third round of the playoffs. Why can’t an El Paso team win the state title? This is a question that is debated in many quarters including on the very excellent website, EPGRIDIRON.com. I will not answer that question for you in this book other than to say that I believe that there are many reasons, the main one being that there isn’t a strong enough commitment from the main school districts to do so. I plan to write another book reliving some of the great football games played in El Paso during my life time. My plan is devote a chapter in that book to answer the question of why an El Paso team can’t win a state title. Will an El Paso team ever win a state football title? Perhaps, but not unless there are some major changes in the way the school districts view the question. Again, I will not discuss those changes in this book. Since I can’t write about any state titles in El Paso 11 man football, I’ve decided to write about the teams that have come the closest.

The 1937 Austin High School Panthers is the only team in El Paso history to finish a season undefeated (a season of 10 or more games). The story of the ’37 Panthers is well documented in Ray Sanchez’s excellent book, “The Good, The Bad, and The Funny of El Paso Sports History”. I highly recommend you read Ray’s book if you want the full story of the ’37 Austin team. The Panthers finished that season with an 11-0-1 record with a 3-0 playoff victory over Abilene. Austin’s next playoff opponent was Wichita Falls. The game ended in a 7-7 tie but the Wichita team advanced in the playoffs because they beat Austin 3-2 on penetrations. A penetration, for those of you that are not familiar with the way playoff games used to be decided, is when a team gets inside its opponent’s 20 yard line. Austin’s season ended on this archaic paper statistic. Fortunately, today’s high school and college games are now decided on the field in overtime periods. No team will ever have to suffer the disappointment of losing a playoff game due to penetrations. Several other El Paso teams have also won or loss games because of penetrations----Eastwood, Coronado, and Bowie just to name a few. Nobody will ever know if the ’37 Panthers would have won the state championship if they had beaten Wichita Falls. Wichita Falls was beaten by Longview 19-12 in the state championship game.

Sources: Ray Sanchez’s The Good, The Bad, and The Funny of El Paso Sports History

 

The El Paso Times and El Paso Herald Post - uiltexas.org

Several El Paso teams have made it to the third round of state playoffs. I have listed the year, the team, and their playoff games below:

1973  Coronado

  • Beat El Paso Parkland 43-0 (bi district)
  • Tied Hereford 7-7 and advanced on penetrations (regional)
  • Lost to Arlington Houston 6-17 (quarter final)

The Thunderbirds of ’73 finished the season with a 6-5-2 record but caught fire at the right time. Coronado lost 4 of their first five games (Odessa Permian 36-8, Las Cruces Mayfield 3-0, Amarillo Tascosa 28-6, and Hobbs, New Mexico 27-20) and then went on to win 5 of their next 6 games with the only blemish being a 21-21 tie with Austin High School.  The Thunderbirds then went on to beat Parkland and tie Hereford 7-7 in the playoffs. Coronado advanced into the next round of the playoffs because they led Hereford on penetrations 5-3. The ’73 T-Birds became the first El Paso team to win a regional final and advance to the third round of the playoffs.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

1975 Coronado:

  • Beat El Paso Ysleta 35-0 (bi-dstrict)
  • Beat Amarillo Caprock 42-14 (regional)
  • Tied Odessa Permian 14-14. Permian advanced on penetrations 3-2 (quarter final)

The T-Birds of 1975 may have been the best team in El Paso high school football history. Coronado was coached by Jack Quarles and featured future Texas Longhorn, Lance Taylor. Coronado finished the season with a 10-1-2 record. The only blemishes on Coronado’s record were a 3-0 loss to Odessa Permian, a 6-6 tie with Eastwood, and a 14-14 tie with Odessa Permian which resulted in Permian advancing in the playoffs because of a 3-2 lead in penetrations. Coronado had a chance to win this game as they were on the Permian 31 yard line late in the fourth quarter. Coach Quarles decided to go for a first down instead of trying a 47 yard field goal, not believing the T-Birds could kick the winning field goal. Permian stopped Coronado’s attempt to make the first down. Ironically, the T-Birds would have won the game if they had been successful in making a first down inside the Permian 20 yard line. The game would have been tied 3-3 in penetrations and Coronado would have won the game on a 10-9 lead in first downs. No one can know if the Thunderbirds would have gone on to win the 1975 state title. Permian was defeated 20-10 by Port Neches Grove in the championship game and finished state runner up. Port Neches Grove was ranked #1 in the state for most of the 1975 year. In 1996, Lance Taylor would become the only player from El Paso to be elected to Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.

Sources: tshol.org inductee list and lonestarfootball.net (Lone Star Football Network)

1979 Coronado:

  • Beat El Paso Bel Air 13-6 (bi-district)
  • Beat Lubbock Monterey 24-8 (regional)
  • Lost to Lewisville 7-15 (quarter final)

Another very good Coronado team, some people believe that this T-Bird team was the best to ever play in El Paso. The Thunderbirds finished the season with a 10-2 record losing to Odessa Permian 14-8 in the first game of the season and to Lewisville 7-15 in the final game of the season. Lewisville would go on to lose to Temple 3-0. Temple would eventually win the 1979 state title by beating Houston Memorial 28-6.

1990 Andress

  • Beat El Paso Bel Air 28-7 (bi-district)
  • Tied Midland Lee and advanced on penetrations (regional)
  • Lost to Arlington Lamar 49-7 (quarter final)

A strong case could be made to say that the 1990 Andress Eagles was the best football team in El Paso history. The Eagles started the season 11-0 with a victory 10-3 victory over powerhouse Midland Lee in the first game of the season. Andress was seldom pressed in the regular season with most games ending in blowouts. One of the stars of this team was Ray Mickens who went on to be an All American at Texas A&M and then on to a long career with the New York Jets of the NFL. Andress beat Midland Lee in the playoffs on penetrations before losing to Arlington Lamar in the third round of the playoffs. Arlington Lamar would go on to beat Dallas Carter 28-7 in the state semi-finals before losing to Aldine 27-10 in the quaterfinals.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2001 Del Valle

  • Beat El Paso Coronado 28-12 (bi-district)
  • Beat Abilene High 14-10 (area)
  • Lost to De Soto 28-56 (regional)

The 2001 Conquistadors finished the season with a 10-2 record only losing to Lubbock Coronado 24-16 in the third game of the season and to De Soto 56-28 in the third round of the playoffs. De Soto would lose to Euless Trinity 31-21 the following week. Euless Trinity would lose to Lufkin 27-23 in the state semi-finals and Lufkin would eventually beat Austin Westlake 38-24 to win the state championship. El Paso fans might remember that former UTEP quarterback, Trevor Vittatoe  played for and led Euless Trinity to a state championship in 2005.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2003 Riverside

  • Beat El Paso Irvin 14-6 (bi-district)
  • Beat Amarillo Palo Duro 20-7 (area)
  • Lost to North Crowley 35-8 (quarter final)

The 2003 season didn’t start off on a very positive note for the Rangers. Riverside was defeated in their first two games of the season by Bel Air 19-7 and by Irvin 22-20 before reeling off 10 straight wins to cruise into the playoffs. The Rangers would finish the season with a 10-3 record when they were beaten by North Crowley 35-8. North Crowley would go on to win the state championship by beating Bay City 20-6.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2004 Riverside:

  • Beat Chapin 35-7 (bi-district)
  • Beat Canyon Randall 35-20 (area)
  • Defeated by Wichita Falls Rider 49-7(regional)

The 2004 Riverside Rangers sailed through the season unbeaten with 12 straight wins. The season came to a disappointing end when the Rangers were defeated by Wichita Falls Rider 49-7 in the third round of the playoffs. Wichita Falls Rider would eventually lose to Aledo 40-35.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2005 Chapin

  • Beat El Paso Parkland 34-31 (bi-district)
  • Beat Big Spring 62-43 (area)
  • Lost Aledo 41-35 in overtime (regional)

The Chapin Huskies of 2005 finished the season with an 11-2 record losing only to Coronado 38-28 in the second game of the season and to Aledo 41-35 in overtime in the third round of the playoffs. Aledo was defeated by Wolfforth Frenship 21-7 the following week.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2005 Franklin

  • Beat San Angelo 28-14 (bi district)
  • Beat Mansfield Summit 41-38 (regional)
  • Lost to Euless Trinity 63-14 (quarter final)

The Franklin Cougars of 2005 finished the season with a 12-2 record losing only to Lubbock Monterey 31-14 in the third game of the season and to Euless Trinity 63-14 in the third round of the playoffs. Euless Trinity was led by future UTEP quarterback, Trevor Vittatoe, and won the state championship. The loss to Trinity by a score of 63-14 shouldn’t come as a surprise. They beat everybody on their regular season schedule by at least 15 points with most of the games being complete routs.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

 

2006 Chapin

  • Beat El Paso Riverside 46-20 (bi-district)
  • Beat Hereford 53-30 (area)
  • Lost to Wichita Falls Rider 48-0 (regional)

The 2006 edition of the Chapin Huskies finished the season 12-1 after sailing through a 10-0 regular season and playoff wins against Riverside 46-20 and Hereford 53-50. The Huskies wore defeated by Wichita Falls Rider 48-0 in the third round of the playoffs. Wichita Falls Rider would lose to Wolfforth Frenship in the next round of the playoffs.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2009 Chapin

  • Beat El Paso Canutillo 30-7 (bi-district)
  • Beat Wolfforth Frenship 33-11 (area)
  • Lost to Denton Ryan 21-61 (regional)

The 2009 Chapin Huskie season got off to a rocky start. The Huskies would lose their first two games to Las Cruces Mayfield 38-0 and Americas 17-16. Chapin would then win their next 10 games before losing to Denton Ryan 61-21 in the third round of the playoffs.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2012 Burges

  • Beat El Paso Canutillo 47-28 (bi-district)
  • Beat Hereford 35-28 (area)
  • Lost to Wichita Falls Rider 64-35 (regional)

The Burges Mustangs enjoyed one of the best seasons in their long history in 2012. The Mustangs, led by brothers Aaron and Alvin Jones, finished the season with a 10-3 record with playoff wins against Canutillo and Hereford. The only defeats for Burges occurred in the second week to Americas 28-24 and in the fourth week to Chapin 30-7. The Mustang’s season would end with a loss to Wichita Falls Rider 64-35 in the third round of the playoffs. Wichita Falls Rider would eventually lose to Lancaster 26-19 in the state semi-finals. Aaron and Alvin Jones would both sign with UTEP and Aaron had a very successful 2013 season for the Miners before a season ending injury.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

2013 Canutillo

  • Beat El Paso High School 45-7 (bi-district)
  • Beat Canyon Randall 28-21 (area)
  • Defeated by Wichita Falls 19-10 (regional)

Canutillo led this game 10-7 at half time. The second half was a disaster for the Eagles with interceptions, fumbles, and a field goal attempt that was blocked and returned for a touchdown. Canutillo had plenty of chances to win this game but was unable to take advantage of them.

Sources: El Paso Times and texashighschoolfootballhistory.com

I have just finished listening to the Canutillo-Wichita Falls game (November 30, 2013). No El Paso public school 11 man football team has yet to reach the fourth round of the state playoffs as of this date.  There have been many chances and several El Paso teams have been close and yet the coveted state championship title remains only a dream.

You may have noticed that I said that no El Paso public school 11 man football team has ever won a state championship. The statement that no El Paso team has ever won a state championship is not true. In fact, one school, El Paso Jesus Chapel has won four state titles and finished runner up two more times. Jesus Chapel, located on Album Street on the East side of town, is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial School (TAPPS).  Jesus Chapel’s football championships have come in 6 man football. The years and scores of the title games are listed below:

  • 1990 Jesus Chapel was 6-0 and defeated Midland Christian 58-34 John Johnson, Billy Stern, Chris McNeely, T.L. Moore, Eddie Martinez, Ben Ortiz, Eric Williams, Mike Abeel, and Dahn Green were named to the All-State Team
  • 1991 Jesus Chapel was 5-2 and lost to Midland Christian 44-39 (runner up) Sal Portillo, Chris Eskew, Eric Williams, Eddie Martinez were named to the All-State Team
  • 1993 Jesus Chapel was 5-4 and lost to Midland Christian 74-34 (runner up) Ruben Cadena, Steve Cadena, David Moore, Tony Bos, and Kareem Cager were named to the All-State Team
  • 1998 Jesus Chapel was 7-1 and beat Greenville Christian 72-52 Gabe Serrano, Nathan Hon, and Cory Sears were named to the All-State Team
  • 1999 Jesus Chapel was 8-0 and beat Watauga Harvest Christian 57-20 Eric Fierro, Sam Serrano, Brice Helton, and Brett Mehl were named to All-State Team
  • 2000 Jesus Chapel was 8-0 and beat Dallas Metropolitan 70-46 Eric Fierro, Brett Mehl, Brice Helton, Chris Gonzalez, Joey Moreno, and Rudy Webber were named to the All-State Team

Sources: texasalmanac.com and tapps.net

Two other private schools in El Paso have won state championships in 6 man football.

Those schools are:

  • 2010 El Paso Immanuel Christian who finished the season with an 8-4 record and beat Lucas Christian 89-63 to win the TCAF (Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship) State Championship.
  • 2006 and 2007 El Paso Faith Christian won TCAL (Texas Christian Athletic League) State Championships in 6 man football. The 2006 team was 10-0 and beat Midland Trinity 92-61 to win the title. The 2007 team was 8-3 and beat Midland Trinity 44-22 to win the title.

Source: Lone Star Football Network lonestarfootball.net

There is one more high school I want to mention if you will allow me the liberty to geographically stretch what is generally meant by El Paso area. Fort Hancock is a little Texas town that is approximately 52 miles southeast of El Paso. The only reason that I am including Fort Hancock in this chapter is because they usually play a couple of El Paso teams to round out their schedule. Fort Hancock is a UIL member and plays 6 man football. They have won five state titles and also set a consecutive win streak of 70 games. The year and the opponent for each of Fort Hancock’s state championships is listed below:

  • 1986-1987 Fort Hancock defeated Christoval 50-36
  • 1988-1989 Fort Hancock defeated Zephyr 76-30
  • 1989-1990 Fort Hancock defeated Jayton-Girard 48-24
  • 1990-1991 Fort Hancock defeated Christoval 66-17
  • 1991-1992 Fort Hancock defeated Christoval 66-14
  • 1992-1993 Fort Hancock lost to Panther Creek 54-26 (runner up)

Sources: uiltex.org, maxpreps.com, and Wikipedia.org

 

I will not ask you to give me the liberty to geographically stretch the El Paso area to include the high schools in Las Cruces, New Mexico (even though they play El Paso teams each year) because their state championships have occurred in New Mexico. I will only take the opportunity to congratulate Las Cruces Mayfield with 8 state titles, Las Cruces High with 8 state titles, and Las Cruces Onate with 1 state title. Congratulations on a job well done and for your proud and ongoing football heritage.

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