|Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association
"Remembering the Past With Pride"
For 50 years, beginning in 1920, the Prairie View Interscholastic League governed academic, athletic, and band competitions
for black high school students in Texas. Working with limited resources, the PVIL produced numerous outstanding students
who became successful citizens, athletes, entertainers, and more, from U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (Houston
Wheatley) to choreographer Debbie Allen (Houston Yates) to Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller (Waco Moore) and six members
of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Now, Michael Hurd, historian and author ("Black College Football, 1892-1992") and also a PVIL alumnus (E.E. Worthing,
1967), is documenting the PVIL's rich history and you can help. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your memories of
attending a PVIL school and send images (for careful scanning and return) to be used in the book. Or, print and complete
this short questionnaire and submit to the PVILCA.
Help tell the world what proud, successful people came out of PVIL schools and celebrate an enduring statewide and global
Click on the image to view a brief video about the PVIL and its memorabilia
The exhibit is housed in the Marvin C. Griffin Bldg., 1009 E. 11th St , Austin
|What Do You Know About the PVIL? Have
some fun and test yourself with this
crossword puzzle on PVIL history -- which
was not just about sports.
This site celebrates the Prairie View Interscholastic League which existed from 1920 to 1970. The PVIL was the governing body for academic, athletic, and
music competitions for black high schools in Texas during the state's segregationist era. In its 50-year existence, the PVIL produced numerous outstanding
coaches, athletes, students, and citizens. On these pages, you will find records, images, profiles of schools, coaches, players, and more. Despite the social mood
of the era, during the PVIL's peak its 500 member schools -- with all-black enrollments -- had lively, exciting, and proud competitions which were as
entertaining, passionate, and fierce as any in the land.
Eli Reed, an award-winning photographer and documentary
filmmaker, has produced a 15-minute clip about the PVIL
featuring former football players at Central High School in
Galveston. This clip is the first for what will be a longer and
more in-depth film about the history of the PVIL. Click here or
on the image to view the clip.
PVIL: The Video
50th anniversary, Corpus Christi's
first HS baseball state champs:
PVIL's 3A 1965 Solomon
Coles Green Hornets
In 1965, Solomon Coles High School in Corpus Christi played for and won their only baseball state championship (3-A) when they took two
straight games in a best-of-three series against Valley View of Gilmer. The win came just five years after the Green Hornets won the second PVIL
state football championship in the school's history. However, the baseball title was a first for the city.
Coached by John Clay, the Hornets were led by pitching ace Gates Hardeman, only a sophomore. Before the state championship series,
Gilmer had lost just once that season in 31 games. However, Hardeman struck out 12 in the championship-deciding game, including six in a row at
one point and he finished the season 11-3, winning the 20th game in 24 outings over his young two-year career.
Writes Matt Rogers, senior director of communications for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, Texas League affiliate of the Houston Astros:
"They represented the hopes and dreams of an African-American Northside neighborhood comprised of modest but well-kept frame homes, small
businesses, and an influential community of faith. As the Civil Rights movement culminated in a tortuous series of high-profile tragedies across the
nation, prompting landscape-changing federal legislation, segregation of the races was melting away in public life.
"Integration was a complicated proposition. And, in Coles’ case, what was once mandatory separation of the races had become somewhat
voluntary, as many students and their families clung to a cherished legacy of school pride. But, the 13 Coles Green Hornets under the leadership of
third-year coach John Clay weren’t overly concerned about heavy matters like the movement or war in Southeast Asia. They were kids who fought
for their baseball lives, experiencing defeat, shady officiating, poor playing surfaces, and austere team transportation. Ultimately, they tasted
redemption and triumph."
Read Rogers' story -- "Redemption: They Were First" -- which will appear in Hooks' game programs this season, here.
On June 4, the Green Hornets were recognized by the Hooks, the Corpus Christi ISD, and the City of Corpus Christi in pregame ceremonies at
Whataburger Field. All fans received a 1965 Coles Team Poster autographed by the players. Eight of 10 surviving team members received state
championship rings -- third baseman Jimmy Hall, pitcher Gates Hardeman, equipment manager/statistician Jeff Lloyd, second baseman Thelton
Roberts, catcher James Randle, outfielder Preston Randle, outfielder Billy Sayles, and shortstop Thomas Walker. Catcher Johnny Elias and
outfielder Arnold Scott live out of state and were unable to attend. Five team members have passed away, including coach John Clay, pitcher Clem
Adams, pitcher Eddie Brooks, first baseman Robert Floyd, and outfielder Clarence Jefferson.
Here are links for local coverage of the recognition:
|L.C. Anderson Yellow Jackets
"Linking the Past to Enrich
L.C. Anderson High School was the pride of East Austin,
educating African American students from 1907 to 1971, when it
closed because of integration. Two years later, a new school, in
northwest Austin, opened and carried the L.C. Anderson name.
However, it did not recognize any of the history or traditions of the
"original" Anderson High School Yellow Jackets.
Other than the name, the schools had no real connection or
relationship until recently when, earlier this year, a display case of
Anderson Yellow Jackets' memorabilia was dedicated at the "new"
Anderson, home to the Trojans, as part of an effort to “bridge the
gap” between the two Anderson High School communities.
In embracing original Anderson history, second-year Trojans'
head coach Jeff Rhoads is hoping some of the Yellow Jackets
winning spirit will enrich his team which was 7-19 over the last three
seasons. In fact, Rhoads has reached out to former Yellow Jacket
football players to teach his players about the history.
That leads to an Aug. 15 Trojans' intrasquad scrimmage at the
former East Austin field where the Yellow Jackets played as one of
the dominant teams in the Prairie View Interscholastic League.
Anderson won four PVIL state football titles and produced dozens
of outstanding players, including Pro Football Hall of Fame
defensive back Dick "Night Train" Lane.
The video to the right is of the March 6 ceremony dedicating the
trophy case display, and below is the report from KVUE-Sports'
Shawn Clynch about old Anderson's football history.
L.C. Anderson (left) was principal for 32
years, retiring in 1928. He had previously
served as principal of Prairie View Normal
|Yellow Jackets' legend Dick "Night Train"
Lane (right) was one of the most feared
defensive backs in the NFL.
Beaumont Hebert's Jerry Levias, the first black scholarship football player in the Southwest Conference, and Warren Wells, one of the all-time
great wide receivers, were among over 100 inductees for the 2015 class of the PVILCA Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor Induction ceremonies held
on July 18 at the Westin Galleria in Houston before a crowd of over 1,000 attendees.
Other notable inductees included, quarterbacks Karl Douglas (Houston Worthing) and Leo Taylor (Jack Yates), tight end Rhome Nixon
(Yates), and basketball center Dwight Davis (Worthing). A meritorious award was presented to Capt. Paul J. Matthews of the National Buffalo
Soldiers Museum in Houston.
The PVILCA's annual banquet has grown with each year setting a new record for attendance and that trend continued for this summer's event.
"We're delighted that the banquet's popularity has grown along with our organization's membership," said Robert Brown, PVILCA board
chairman. "Our motto is "Remembering the Past With Pride," and the banquet typifies that. It's a day for reunion, camaraderie, remembrance,
appreciation, and recognition. Through the years, there have been so many incredible people – coaches, athletes, administrators, and others –
who made the PVIL experience something special, and for many of them this is the only public recognition of their participation and service.
"The existence of the PVIL and its all-black schools is a time we won't see again, so this is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to
come out and share in the recognition with their own sense of pride. And we have another outstanding class of inductees this year."
LeVias topped the list. He starred as a quarterback at Hebert, but in 1966 when he suited up at Southern Methodist University he was a wide
receiver for head coach Hayden Fry. LeVias was the first black scholarship athlete in the Southwest Conference and the second black football
player in the Southwest Conference. John Westbrook, a running back, was a walk-on at Baylor and played in a game for the Bears one week
before LeVias' debut.
LeVias was an All-American (athletic and academic) as a senior and twice led the league in receiving and left SMU with numerous school and
conference career records. With the Houston Oilers, he was selected to the 1969 American Football League All-Star Team. He is a member of
both the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Wells was an exciting receiver with speed and sure hands at Hebert, Texas Southern University and with the Oakland Raiders. He was a 12th
round pick by the Detroit Lions in 1964, played one season there, but was called to the Army for two years. After discharge, he signed with the
Raiders and played four seasons becoming the prime deep target for quarterback Daryle Lamonica, who became known as the "Mad Bomber."
In Wells' best season, 1969, he caught 47 passes for 1,260 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the American Football League in receiving. He was
twice named to the Pro Bowl (1968, 1970).
Prairie View's great defensive back Ken Houston, an NFL Hall of Famer, has said of Wells: "Warren was the original 'Dr. Doom.' He was cold-
Click here for a complete list of inductees.
Hebert's LeVias, Wells top 2015 PVILCA HOF/Hall of Honor class