There I Was……..Steve Needham vs. “Boobie” Miles June 20, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, fun, non squitur, silliness.
High school was, for me, a tremendous amount of fun – at least the last 3 years were. Plano is a bit different from most towns, separating 9th and 10th grades (“high school”) from 11th and 12th (“senior high school”). When I was a sophomore, my neighbor growing up, Bobbie Schraeder, led the Plano Wildcats to a Class 5A state championship (back before the UIL ruined football by dividing the classifications into upper and lower segments, and crowning two “champions” per class). Class 5A was the highest, being the largest schools, and probably the best, most years.
My junior year, Plano was riding a 12 game win streak and finished the regular season undefeated (making that 22 wins in a row). Plano was led by a strong but not overwhelming defense, the best offensive line in the country, and a quarterback named Steve Needham. Plano had run the veer option for over a decade and had refined it to a high art. The offensive line – from which all five starters would get Division 1 scholarships, including Notre Dame and Texas A&M – which averaged 6’3″ 250 lbs, was really the heart of the team. The backfield didn’t have any particular superstars, but it did have Steve Needham, an outstanding high school option quarterback and really tough guy. By the end of the year, the Dallas TV stations had taken to reciting the scores from Plano games “Steve Needham 21, Langham Creek, 14,” etc. Kind of a crappy thing to do, because that was a real team, but also sort of true, especially through the playoffs.
Anyway, I know this is terribly non sequitur and will be a terrific bore to most, but as much for the record as anything, the videos below are from Odessa Permian’s coach’s show from the 1987 season. This is the end of the season show, recorded the day after Odessa Permian lost to Plano 29-21 on their home field, Ratliff Stadium. Anyone who has read or seen Friday Night Lights knows the coach in question was Gary Gaines. There are many highlights from the game, which make the ONLY footage of Plano’s undefeated 16-0 1987 state championship season I’ve ever found online (though there is quite a bit from the ’94 championship season, the last in Plano’s formerly storied history, winning 7 championships in 4 classifications between 1965 and 1994).
I like hearing a lot of names I haven’t heard in a long time. If any readers are fans of the Friday Night Lights book or movie, they will recognize a lot of the Odessa Permian names. This was Texas high school football at its best, to me. Permian had a strong edge in the game through the first half, but Plano made excellent halftime defensive adjustments and shut Permian down in the second half. No trickery, nothing fancy, just very strong execution and straight on power running attacks. Both teams were loaded with ridiculous amounts of Division 1 talent – Lloyd Hill, Ivory Christian, Boobie Miles, and Brian Chavez for Permian, Justin Hall, Craig Jeffries, Dennis Austin, Brad Funk, Lance Proctor, and Steve Needham for Plano.
The 1987 state championship game between Houston Stratford and Plano was broadcast nationwide by ESPN, live, with a very young Chris Fowler calling the game. It was the first high school game ever broadcast by ESPN.
Next year, my senior year, wasn’t so great. 30 game win streak snapped and lost in the second round of the playoffs. That team was a shadow of its predecessor, which carried so many seniors.
Ah, but good times. So many good times.