Plano Wildcat History
Plano High School's first football team, 1900. (Obtained from Frances Wells Collection, Texana Collection, Gladys Harrington Library, Plano Public Library System, Plano, Texas, USA)
A small group of Plano boys formed an unofficial football team in 1898. In 1900, the first official high school team was formed. In 1909, Superintendent C. F. Walker complained to the local paper, "Do you sleep well at night when you know your boy is on the streets kicking a football?" Despite his concerns, by 1914 Plano fielded a football team and a men's and women's basketball team. However, the First World War cancelled all athletics, as there were not enough men to field any teams.
By 1925, athletics programs had been re-established, and a mascot had been chosen: the Wildcat. The 1925 football team completed an undefeated season, and the resulting fervor led to the increased funding of athletics in Plano. The district allocated funds to purchase a cow pasture for the purpose of playing football and other sports. The pasture was renamed Guy M. Rice Field, after the team's first football coach. By 1939, a "modern" stadium had been built at this site. With the construction of Plano High School in 1957, an accompanying stadium was built, and Rice Field was abandoned. In 1977, Plano completed construction on John Clark Field at a cost of $2.75 million ($8.92 million 2005 dollars). Clark Field, with a capacity of 14,224, is the facility used for most varsity football games today. Kimbrough Stadium, a new stadium in 2004, is also occasionally the site for home games.
Plano Wildcats football team 1965
Following the integration of Plano High School with Plano Colored School, the football team made its first run at the Texas state championship in 1965. Most of the town shut down to make the drive to Austin and see the Wildcats win their first state championship. After the Wildcats won the championship again in 1967, the team was voted Texas Outstanding Football Team.
The Plano Varsity football team has gone to nine Texas state championships, as detailed below, and won seven. Plano's seven championships were tied for most in the state along with Brownwood, Celina, and Southlake Carroll until Celina won its eighth in the 2007 season.
Following the creation of Plano West Senior High School in 1999, Plano lost much of its player base to the new school, and the 2003 Plano Varsity football team suffered a winless season for the first time in the history of the school. The tenth graders who were recruited to play at the varsity level during the dismal 2003 season became twelfth graders in the 2005 season. Partly due to this extra experience, the 2005 team completed a perfect 10–0 regular season and went 3–1 in the playoffs, finally being defeated by the eventual state champions, Southlake Carroll Dragons. Coach Jaydon McCullough took the reins as head coach in school history and set school records during the 2007 season, a team led by quarterback Carson Meger, running back Rex Burkhead and wide receiver Kris Lott, advanced to the state semifinals, until getting beaten in double overtime (27-30) by eventual State Champion Euless Trinity.