Inspired by Lake Travis High School’s sixth UIL football championship, we recently filed images of winning Texas teams from the past, including a few choice shots of the Austin High Maroons.
That was how we learned that our state’s craze for high school football includes a fascination with its distant history.
Wouldn’t it be interesting, we thought, to salute all the Austin-area schools that played in state championship games? We started by delving into the University Interscholastic League’s online archives, which go back to 1920.
We were overwhelmed with data. So while adding some more historical images to the Austin Found blog, we started a list. You can help us complete it. Memories welcome.
The first Austin school to pop up in the database was Austin Anderson, which during the 1940-41 season lost to Fort Worth Terrell 26-0 in the finals of the segregated Prairie View Interscholastic League. In 1942, Anderson won its state crown outright against Paris Gibbons, and Austin High triumphed over in the UIL championship game against Dallas Sunset, a double feat saluted by sportswriter Danny Davis in a Dec. 7, 2014, article.
Austin Anderson returned to state finals in 1945-46 but lost. Temple had the same luck in 1951-52, as did Killeen in 1954-55. Anderson was back — and won — in 1956-57, 1957-58 and 1961-62. Elgin got to state in Division 1A in 1958-59, but lost to White Deer. San Marcos lost to Palestine in the 3A finals in 1964-65.
Austin Reagan High School started its golden football era with a 4A triumph in 1967-68 and then repeated in 1968-69 and 1970-71. The previous year, as integration lurched forward, the Prairie View Interscholastic League had disappeared, at least from the playoff data.
We will stop there for now, knowing that the glory days of Westlake, Lake Travis, Wimberley and other area high schools are still to come.
You can’t understand New Austin without delving into Old Austin. One digital avenue for that quest is Austin Found, a series of historical images of Austin and Texas published at statesman.com/austinfound. We’ll share samples here regularly.