News

We now have 814 teams &  
171,412 games on AHSFHS.org.


Search Site

AHSFHS Article Series


   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.





Dynasties 




          Over the next few months AHSFHS.org will take a look at some of the most successful teams in the history of high school football in Alabama. It is difficult to tag teams as dynasties in high school football but for the sake of argument most fans would agree there have been teams that were unusually good over a period of several consecutive seasons. 

          The teams will appear in no particular order. We will jump around in time to find the best teams of every era. Many of these teams will be known to the avid football fans but there will be a few that have been lost to time along with the memories of the players, coaches and fans involved.
          Before we tackle the dynasties a look at the teams that did not make the list would be appropriate. The first team that comes to mind when missed dynasties are discussed has to be the Russellville Golden Tigers.

          Between 2000 and 2009 the Tigers compiled a record of 122-20 which ranks among the best ten year runs ever.

Raising the Blue Map is a goal of every team
          The 122 wins rank as the third most by any team in any decade behind only Hoover (130) and Prattville (124) from the same time period. The problem is not the 122 wins, it is the 20 losses. Ten of those losses ended in the playoffs and five of them in the Class 5A Super Six championship game.

          Russellville does own a couple of state championships having won back-to-back in 1967-68. The Golden Tigers also won a record ten games in eleven consecutive seasons between 2000-10.

          The Briarwood Lions have been a consistent winner over the past twenty years and have claimed three state championships. They qualified for the playoffs twenty-one consecutive seasons. Between 1998 and 2003 the Lions went 76-10, winning three titles in six years.

          Vigor can possibly claim to have the best team in high school football history with the 1988 version of the Wolves. After winning a 6A title in 1987 with a 13-1 record the Wolves put together a most amazing season in 1988. They rolled through the schedule outscoring their opponents by a combine 387-44 including a 41-7 dismantling of Berry High School from Birmingham.

          The Wolves shutout eight foes and allowed seven touchdowns all season. Following their 1988 championship the Wolves did not win another title until 2008 some twenty years later.

          The Alexandria Valley Cubs won a title in 1995 and again in 1997. While they have one of the best five year runs (1995-99) in state history with a record of 60-4, they only collected two titles. The same can be said of Millport with a five year record of 55-4 between 1980-84.

          The Deshler Tigers played in seven championship games between 1998-2010. They did win two titles but lost the other five games. The Tigers won 145 games in those thirteen seasons. Deshler won three titles over a period of ten seasons in 1990, 1998 and 1999.

          Deshler also had a great run between 1934-38, going 42-2-1. This era was under consideration but when researching these seasons it appears there were some games forfeited for ineligible players that could not be clearly defined.

          Escambia County went 56-2-2 between 1945-50 but did not win a state championship during this time. The reason could be attributed to the newspapers conducting polls at that time did not view the Blue Devil's schedule as being strong enough to warrant a title.

          Between 1921-25, the Enterprise Wildcats finished 38-1-8 over the span of five seasons. At that time football was so regional and the Wildcats did win a lot of games but many of the wins were against smaller schools in the southwest corner of the state.

          Shelby County finished with a combined record of 45-2-1 between 1961-65 but never captured a state championship in any poll. The Wildcats went 45 games without being defeated over five seasons.

          Other teams that deserve consideration are Brantley, Oxford, Addison, Oneonta, Elmore County, Reeltown, Athens, Elba, Marion County and Gordo.

          All these teams won at least three championships but did not make the cut for various reasons. To be considered a dynasty, a team must do more than simply win football games.


Fans are an important part of a dynasty

          Since 1966 there have been exactly 250 state championship games played in the AHSAA. Of those, 109 different teams have won one or more of these championships. Hazlewood leads the way with eleven titles followed closely by Berry/Hoover with ten and Sweet Water with nine.

          Further down the list; five teams have won six championships, six teams have captured five titles and four teams have won four titles. A total of thirty-one teams have won at least three titles.

          So, what exactly constitutes a dynasty? In the political world it is defined as royal bloodlines exercising rule over a clearly defined space and time. The distinctions are not always so clear on the football field. The teams that can be considered dynasties can be debated among fans for hours on end.

          Our criteria is simple. First and foremost a team must have won multiple state championships. The least would be three within a five year period. Below is a list of the teams that have won three or more consecutive titles since the inception of the playoff system in 1966.

AHSAA High School Classification Years Titles
Hazlewood 2A 1988-92 5  
Hoover 6A 2002-05  4  
Courtland 1A 1988-90 3  
Leroy 2A 2006-08 3  
Prattville 6A 2006-08 3  
Sweet Water 1A 2006-08 3  
Blount 5A 1996-98 3  
Clay County 2A 1994-96 3  
       
AISA      
Edgewood Academy AISA-AA 2010-13 4  
Morgan  Academy AISA-AAA 1997-01 4  
Southern Academy AISA-AA 2004-07 4  
Morgan  Academy AISA-AAA 1991-93 3  
Pickens Academy AISA-AA 1994-96 3  
Patrician Academy AISA-AA 1988-90 3  
Springwood AISA-AA 1980-82 3  
Monroe Academy AISA 1970-72 3  

          All but three of the teams on our list won three championships within a five year period. Those three are there for other reasons. One team appeared in ten championship games, winning five, over an eighteen year period. Another won two titles while appearing in three consecutive championship games. They also went 58 games in a row without a defeat in the regular season. The third team simply won in memorable fashion.

          Prior to the playoff system in 1966, it is much more difficult to define the dynasties. The larger schools often scheduled local smaller schools just to fill out their schedules instead of trying to play teams of similar size. There were no classifications or regions and travel was more difficult.

          Just because a team finished with a great record for several consecutive seasons did not necessarily make them a dynasty.

          Each case had to be examined and researched to see if the wins were against schools of similar size or if records were padded against inferior competition. 

1964 Lee Generals celebrate a win
          Something else to consider would be teams that won more than three championships but did it over a longer period of time. To be included, teams must win consistently between the titles and should win convincingly both in seasons when they win a championship and seasons when they fall short of a crown.

          Dynasties do not just happen. It takes time, commitment, passion, support and of course coaching and talent. The dynasties on our list have a few things in common. They all had excellent coaching, dedicated administration, loyal parents and great players.

          History is written by the winners. This series is about those winners and the ones who won consistently. Alabama has a long and storied high school football history with many great coaches and players. This is about the teams more than the individuals on those teams. Teams win championships more than players win championships.

          It is not our intention to name the greatest dynasty of all time. That is best left to be debated among our readers. AHSFHS.org has selected twenty-two teams for examination.

          Our first team will be the Blount Leopards. Following each article you may comment on the team or the content of the story.


The Dynasties
Team Seasons Years Record Titles
Blount 1990-1998 9 103-18 5
Lee Montgomery 1956-1965 10 87-8-5 5
Andalusia 1973-1978 6 69-4-2 3
Verbena 1950-1955 6 58-1 5
Tuscaloosa 1925-1931 7 61-0-3 6
Hazlewood 1981-2000 20 232-35 9
T.R. Miller 1984-2002 19 211-44 5
Sidney Lanier 1961-1968 8 70-10-4 4
Sweet Water 2004-2010 7 86-12 5
Tallassee 1941-1947 7 59-2-1 0
Prattville 2001-2011 9 115-10 4
Colbert County 1979-1996 18 179-51-1 5
Courtland 1986-1991 6 59-15 3
Clay County 1994-1998 5 67-4 3
Homewood 2000-2005 6 82-7 4
Lee Montgomery 1986-1993 8 92-15 3
Hoover 2000-2013 14 186-19 8
UMS-Wright 2001-2005 5 68-4 3
Leroy 2004-2010 7 90-11 5
Pike County 2003-2007 5 64-7 3
Spanish Fort 2009-2013 5 62-10 3
Southern Choctaw 1998-2002 5 59-8 3
Cedar Bluff 1959-1963  5 46-1-2  3
 


         

David Parker
  AHSFHS.org
  dparker@ahsfhs.org


comments powered by Disqus



Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

Etowah defeated Oxford 69-63 in 1991 to set a state record for most points scored by both teams in a playoff game.