Credit: David Flores / Kens5.com
Former Roosevelt football coach Bryan Dausin, center, and former Rough Riders defensive ends Dwayne Missouri, left, and Erik Flowers have remained close through the years.
Monday, Aug 1 at 6:06 PM
Call them San Antonio high school football’s version of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who set the single-season benchmark in the NFL when they won Super Bowl VII and finished 17-0.
Twenty-three years after the Dolphins’ historic season, the 1995 Roosevelt Rough Riders raised the bar for San Antonio area schools in the University Interscholastic League’s largest classification.
Picked to finish fifth among the eight schools in District 26-5A in a poll of the league’s head coaches, Roosevelt proved a lot of folks wrong in 1995.
The Rough Riders not only won district, they took the 5A Division II state title and capped a 16-0 season with a 17-10 victory against Flower Mound Marcus at Alamo Stadium.
Roosevelt reached the summit on Dec. 23, standout defensive end Dwayne Missouri’s 17th birthday.
“It was perfect,” said Missouri, now an assistant coach at Warren High School. “You couldn’t have written a better script. We just came together as a team and never expected to lose. We took pride in playing harder than the other team. It really came together for us that season.”
Sixteen years later, the 1995 Rough Riders remain the only team in area annals to finish a season 16-0 while playing in the UIL’s largest classification. Medina Valley went 16-0 when it won the 3A crown in 1984.
“As the years go by and you reflect on that season, you realize just how special it was,” said former Roosevelt head coach Bryan Dausin, who has the same job at Warren now. “It’s an accomplishment nobody can take away from you. It stays with you forever.
“To go 16-0, you have to be play well week in and week out. That’s very difficult to do. But we had tremendous team chemistry. We had good players, but we had a lot of average players, too. That’s what I’m proudest of: We were a team.”
The 1995 Rough Riders had a relentless defense that was anchored by ends Erik Flowers and Missouri, both of whom played in the NFL, and a highly efficient offense led by steady quarterback Jacob Rodriguez and running back Terrell Haynes.
Roosevelt’s perfect record, plus the fact it beat 5A Division I champ Judson, which finished 14-1, is why the 1995 Rough Riders get my nod as the area’s greatest all-time high school football team.
You can cast your vote for the area’s greatest team ever
UTSA, which kicks off its inaugural football season Sept. 3 against Northeastern (Okla.) State at the Alamodome, is sponsoring a contest to determine which team will be crowned the “greatest” ever in these parts.
The contest, which began last month and is scheduled to run until mid-August, is being used as a promotion to generate interest in UTSA football. People who vote become eligible to receive free tickets to Roadrunners games.
Roosevelt is one of 17 area state champions on the ballot, including the 1984 Medina Valley Panthers, who stunned defending champ Daingerfield in the 3A state final to complete their 16-0 season.
The ballot also allows for a write-in choice. In the interest of fairness, you should know that Falls City, which won the Class A Division II state crown last year, was inadvertently omitted from the list of nominees.
The area team voted the best ever by fans will be announced during UTSA’s game against Minot State on Nov. 19 at the Alamodome.
KENS 5 Sports Director Joe Reinagel and I had fun discussing this subject last week. The “debate” was taped, and you can watch it here.
Joe’s pick as the greatest all-time area team: The 1983 Judson Rockets.
Led by prolific running back Chris Pryor, Judson won the 5A state title and finished 15-1. The 1983
Rockets won Judson’s first football state championship, a notable distinction by any measure.
Still, I couldn’t resist teasing Joe during our one-on-one, telling him I already could hear the howls coming from Roosevelt fans. Being the good sport he is, Joe chuckled and made it clear he stood by his pick.
Churchill finished 15-0 in 1976
Obviously, Joe and I are on different sides of the fence on this one. But that’s what makes sports fun. In a way, sports is like politics. Everyone has an opinion.
While I think the 1983 Judson Rockets were outstanding, there’s no getting around Roosevelt’s 16-0 run to the state championship 12 years later.
The Rough Riders’ victory against Flower Mound Marcus moved Roosevelt just past the 1976 Churchill Chargers, who won the state title and finished 15-0, in the roll call of the greatest teams in area history.
Lee’s 1971 team also went unbeaten in winning state, but a tie against rival Churchill kept the Volunteers (14-0-1) from a perfect season.
My top five area teams of all time would be, in order, 1995 Roosevelt, 1976 Churchill, 1971 Lee, 1983 Judson and 1993 Judson. Led by elusive senior running back Jerod Douglas, the 1993 Rockets finished 13-0-2 and won their second consecutive state title under D.W. Rutledge.
Flowers, who has been a student assistant coach at the University of the Incarnate Word the past two seasons while he completes work on his degree, recalled the commitment of his teammates at Roosevelt in 1995.
“Everybody bought into what we were trying to do that season, and we became more of a family,” Flowers said. “Our coaches did a great job of instilling confidence in all of us. The rest is San Antonio history.”
It will be interesting to see where fans rank the 1995 Rough Riders in area high school football history.