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1961 Coyotes are still in a league of their own

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1961 Coyotes are still in a league of their own

Although almost a half a century has passed since he last played a high school football game, Larry Shields is still considered by many the greatest running back this town has ever seen.

His Wichita Falls High School teammates believe it.

Shields had the size ? he wore linemen’s jerseys 75, 70 and 64 ? to run over defenders, the speed to run around them and the football smarts to just be better than the other guy.

And he played for the greatest coach this town has ever nfl jerseys

In 1947, Joe Golding’s rookie regular season as head football coach at WFHS, the Coyotes were 10 0 with eight shutouts.

And all it did after that was get better.

In the final season for Shields and Golding, the Coyotes of 1961 produced what was in my humble opinion the best high school football team this town has seen.

And that’s saying something, people.

The Coyotes of 1961 didn’t just beat a lot of good teams.

They beat the hell out of them.

Ada ? the preseason No. 2 team in Oklahoma ? came to Coyote Stadium for the season opener that year.

Kenny Sims returned the opening kickoff of the year 88 yards for a touchdown to begin a 55 6 blowout.

Then the old rival Breckenridge Buckaroos showed up the next week at Coyote Stadium.

Not the same state championship powerhouse they had been just two years before, but these boys in green were still much better than the final 41 6 score showed them to be.

After a 14 0 shutout over Coach Bum Phillips’ always tough Amarillo High Golden Sandies, the Coyotes had another Texas Oklahoma showdown in Lawton, who was unbeaten and had taken over Oklahoma’s No. 2 ranking. The Pack won 48 0, even though Golding had pulled his starters before halftime.

The next seven opponents would be no match for the Coyotes. The combined score of those games was 221 24.

But San Angelo ? at home and now coached by the legendary Emory Bellard ? would be a tough second round playoff test for Wichita Falls. The Coyotes were 11 0 and ranked No. 1. San Angelo was 11 0 and ranked No. 2.

An onside kick on the kickoff helped the Bobcats jumped out to a quick 8 0 lead.

Then they disappeared ? overpowered 42 8.

That set up a third straight road playoff game in the semifinals against Fort Worth Paschal, the only other undefeated team in the state. And the Coyotes would have to play them without their No. 1 tailback/quarterback Mike Kelly.

Sims subbed for Kelly, but the Pack did not miss a beat, winning 41 12.

The Coyotes were back in the state championship game for the fourth straight year.

In fact, after winning it all in 1958, Golding’s next two teams in 1959 and 1960 only lost two games ? both in the state finals.

But nobody was going to spoil Golding’s going away party.

Galena Park stacked its defense to stop Shields. So Kelly called 28 spinner 1 twice in the fourth quarter. He faked to Shields and ran 55 and 59 yards for touchdowns.

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September 14th, 2010 at 3:00 am

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