In 1947 John Clark "Mose" Simms, The athletic director of Oklahoma City
University took leave-of-absence to organize a high school football game
between the best players east and west of the Mississippi River. To choose
the players he wrote to 134 sports editors and writers for nominations.
After evaluating the submissions, and visiting some of the high schools of
nominated players, he chose 44 to play in that game and be designated as the
first high school All-American team. From 1947 through the early 60's an
organization headed by Simms known as the Wigwam
Wisemen picked an All-American team and published the results in the
national sports weekly "The Sporting News". From the original four deep
teams, the list was eventually expanded to seven teams of thirteen players.
In most of those years the nominations exceeded 5,000 players. Some that
didn't make one of the squads were designated as Honorable Mention
Wigwam Wisemen All-Americans. Those honorable
mention lists, for the most part are lost in time.
The greatest honor a high school football player could receive during the
years of the Wigwam Wisemen, was to be named
to their team.
A copy of one of the certificates appears at the bottom of this page.