Texans to Honor First Football Team as 50th Anniversary Warmup

Texans to Honor First Football Team as 50th Anniversary Warmup
Posted on 10/08/2013
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Sam Rayburn High Coach David Satcher displays a football letter jacket donated to the school by Keith Chambers, a tackle and team captain on the Texans' 1964 squad.
imgHomecoming has come and gone this fall at Sam Rayburn High. But this Saturday, when Sam Rayburn plays South Houston for the 50th time, the Texans will be trumpeting an even bigger event – the school’s golden anniversary.

Administrators and teachers have invited former participants in band, cheer and other organizations to participate in game activities on Saturday when the Texans tangle with the Trojans at 1 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Invited back as guests of honor are members of the 1964 Sam Rayburn football team, the school’s first. James McNeil, the school’s first head coach, will lead a contingent of about two dozen players from the 1964 squad.

The former coaches and players will be introduced at the school pep rally on Friday and meet with current Sam Rayburn players later that day for a slideshow presentation about the Texans’ first season prepared by Ken Hogstrom, a junior on the 1964 squad.

The 1964 team will be honored at halftime of the South Houston game on Saturday and then treated to a reception and dinner at Peppers Restaurant on Fairmont Pkwy that night

David Satcher, Sam Rayburn’s second-year head coach, conceived the idea of a feature game to be played between homecoming and the Texans’ season-ending rivalry game with Pasadena in November.

School administrators took the idea and expanded it. The Texans’ game with South Houston will now serve as a kind of “warm-up” for the school’s 50th anniversary celebration next April.

“The big thing was we were looking to build a larger fan base for our football games,” Satcher said. “We have a really good core of support from our students and parents. But we wanted to establish something special to bring out the community for our other games.”

All agreed that a Saturday afternoon contest with South Houston presented the ideal opportunity. Sam Rayburn, the Pasadena ISD’s third high school, opened in 1964, drawing students away from both South Houston and Pasadena High.

“Originally, in 1965, our big rival was South Houston,” said Allison Lewallen, the Sam Rayburn assistant principal coordinating the event. “We thought this would be a good opportunity to reach out to our alumni and get things rolling for our 50th.”

School district officials are planning a Nov. 4 meeting at Sam Rayburn to formally launch the Sam Rayburn High School Alumni Association. Alumni volunteers will serve as interim officers and preside over a meeting of class representatives to officially get the alumni association started.

An independent alumni group, the Sam Rayburn alumni association will follow models already in place at Pasadena High and South Houston High and provide a support base for the 50th anniversary observance, now being planned as a day-long event for April 26, 2014.

Former Texans cheerleaders and former members of the school’s band, choir, drill team and JROTC units will also participate in game events this weekend.

More than 100 former band members, some dating back to the Sixties, will perform with the current Texan band during the first, second and fourth quarters on Saturday. About a dozen former Sam Rayburn cheerleaders will cheer with the current cheer squad at the pep rally and at the game on Saturday.

Playing without seniors, the first Sam Rayburn football team posted a 2-6-2 record, winning its debut against Spring Woods, 12-0, but losing to South Houston, 42-14, the following week. The Texans won their first district title in football just four years later.

The Trojans lead the all-time series 27-22.

001Texans running back Ronnie Durrett hurdles a defender during a 1964 contest.