Richland Springs will host their 2010-2011 All-Sports Banquet this Friday night at 6:00 pm. The banquet will be held in the Cafetorium at the school. Guest speaker will be Coach Bob Shipley from Brownwood. Dinner will be served at a cost of $3.00 per person for non-Booster Club members. Although, this is an all-sports awards dinner and athletes participating in every sport will be recognized, there will be special recognition to the 2010 State and National Champion Richland Springs Football team.
The San Saba County Commissioners, earlier this year, declared February 2010, Richland Springs High School Football Month, commemorating their State and National Championship football season. To put this recognition in perspective, the 4 time State Champion Coyotes, join a super elite fraternity of high schools in the State of Texas. Only 25 schools, of any classification, 5A Divison 1 through Six-Man Division II, have won 4 or more State Championships, in the history of high school football, dating back to 1921. Recognizable notables in this group are the storied programs of, Odessa Permian, Plano, Converse Judson, Southlake Carrol, Celina, Mart, Katy, Wichita Falls, Abilene High and Brownwood. Notable by their absence from this elite roster are notorious football powerhouses such as, Cuero, Tyler John Tyler, Euless Trinity, Aledo, Garden City, Borden County, Strawn or any school whose name starts with Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, or Fort Worth. So, just why are these few schools so successful? The common denominators in this select group seem to be obvious. First, Hall of Fame caliber coaches with longevity, Gordon Wood (Brownwood), G. A. Moore (Celina), Todd Dodge (Southlake Carroll) and Art Briles (Stephenville), are some recognizable examples. Coaches Jerry Burkhart and Shawn Rogers have already posted win-loss numbers that equal or rival other Six-Man Hall of Fame inducted Coaches, accomplished for the most part, in a much shorter time frame. Second, is an Administration, Faculty and School Board who truly understand the importance Athletics play in the character building of the student body, and support the participation wholeheartedly. Administration and Faculty spend countless unpaid hours tending to, behind the scenes necessary details, which each sporting event demands. And last, but not least, is a community that enthusiastically (almost maniacally) support their respective towns’ student athletes. Most of these Champions are supported, not only by the expected parents and alumni, but by the community as a whole, countywide businesses, Churches and residents. Booster Club members with kids long since grown and gone are commonplace. They truly "walk the walk", tirelessly dedicating their time and services. They do not just pay their 20 bucks and offer "rah rah" lip service. Long time and sometimes long suffering fans are the rule rather than exception here. Superstar athletes can carry a team for one or two seasons(Earl Campbell had one State Title), but to post four State Titles over a period of 8 years, requires a rarely achieved coordinated effort from the coaching staff, administration, and community. Unlike most of the "Elite 25", the Coyotes have accomplished this historic feat without the artificial turf stadium and the state of the art field house/workout facility or $100k scoreboard. Their ancient field house was once the Ag barn, the visitors showers do not work and there isn’t a usable running track on campus(they rent a track from San Saba for home track meet events). The old Bluebird team bus is decades old and their flashy jerseys are hand repaired each year by Ms Robbins. Nevertheless, in only 8 seasons, the Richland Springs Coyotes, have immortalized forever, their place in the history books of Texas High School Football.
The Coyotes posted a perfect 15-0 season in a very convincing fashion with 7 shutout victories and 13 of 15 games ended early due to the mercy rule. The Coyotes capped their historic season with a 50-0 shutout victory in the semi-final against Milford and the first ever shutout in a Six-man State Final, 46-0 over Sterling City.
My high school football fans/friends from the MetroMess have asked, "Is their something in the water down there, or what". Maybe so, San Saba County was well represented in the State Playoffs this year, with all the county teams making the playoffs. San Saba and adjacent counties have a staggering total of 20 State Championships throughout the years, Brownwood (7), Richland Springs, (4) Goldthwaite (4), Cherokee (3), Brady (1) and Lohn (1)….. Maybe, there is something in the water. Friday night will be your opportunity to come out and show your support and appreciation for Your "Hometown Heroes".