daingerfield’s 1983 state championship team
recorded 14 shutouts — and allowed a total of
eight points — en route to a state title. It is the
most dominating season-long performance the
state has ever witnessed.
By JOE HALE
the yeAr wAs 1983. PresIdent Ronald Reagan called the Soviet union an evil empire and the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.25.
But the talk around East Texas as the leaves
started changing colors was daingerfield football, and, eventually, a scoreless streak that
may never be matched.
The Tigers were on the prowl that fall, winning their second of six state football championships. They did it in national record-setting
fashion with a defense that was the best then
and is still considered the best-ever in a poll
conducted by TheOldCoach.com’s fourth annual Friday Night Football Texas magazine.
Old-timers still reminisce about the defense
that recorded 14 shutouts, 13 coming consecutively, during a 16-0 campaign. The Tigers
didn’t achieve their statistical dominance by
playing weak teams, either; five (Waco Robinson,
kaufman, gladewater, Post and Sweeny) of their
six playoff opponents won 11 or more games.
Entering the 1983 season, there were questions to be answered, such as whether doug Pittman or Eric Everett, both seniors, would settle in
at quarterback and where the non-quarterback
would play on defense. Also, how fast would the
Tigers’ senior-laden defense adjust under new
coordinator Jacky mayfield? The year before
daingerfield won a district championship and
first-round playoff game, so expectations were
high for coach dennis Alexander.
“i remember our kids came in pretty moti-
vated for the start of the season. To be honest,
we were sweating it out to be a good team,” said
Alexander, who coached daingerfield from 1976-
88 and enters his second year at Troup this fall.