The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for extra-curricular activities in Texas public schools, turns 100 this year. To commemorte that, they are having the public vote for their all-century teams in various sports.
They've put together extensive ballots with most of the top players over the last 100 years on them. There's also a place to write in a candidate. The football portion of the ballot can be found at by going right here.
Not surprisingly, there's a dearth of players from the Panhandle. It figures it would be on the small side, primarily because of population, as well as the fact there hasn't been a team win a state title in the UIL's top three classifications from this area in 47 years.
Out of 305 players on the electronic ballot, just seven are from the Panhandle. Rick Fenlaw, who played at Amarillo High in the early 1970s, and then went on to play at Texas, is on the ballot in both the offensive line and linebacker. Tascosa had two players listed, both from powerhouse teams of the early 1960s: offensive lineman Danny Abbott, who starred at Texas, and the late Billy Hobbs, two-time All-American at Texas a&M.
Others on the ballot are Donny Anderson, running back from Stinnett, who went to become an All-American at Texas Tech and play for Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers; offensive lineman Jerry Sisemore of Plainview, All-American tackle at Texas and fixture with the Philadelphia Eagles; defensive lineman John LaGrone of Borger, who went on to lead SMU to the 1967 Cotton Bowl; and Carl McAdams of White Deer, an All-American linebacker at Oklahoma and later with the New York Jets who upset the Colts in Super Bowl III.
There will always be notable absences from any area of the state in a ballot like this. But two from this area seem glaring. One is Dumas tight end Kelly Baker, who helped lead the Demons to back-to-back state titles in 1961-62. Baker was 6-feet-7 and from all accounts was a blocking beast and a nightmare matchup for opponents.
And no Zach Thomas? Enough said.