Every Tuesday & Friday, we dive into the archives, the record books, the people, events and things that shaped the world of UIL Football in the past 100 years in Texas.
Phillips Blackhawks & Harold “Chesty” Walker
In the 100 years of the UIL’s existence, there have been a number of football programs that have made their mark on history and have impacted the way we see excellence and legendary statuses. In a small Panhandle town that only existed for the purposes of serving the Phillips Petroleum Company during the height of the oil boom, a coach named Harold “Chesty” Walker was hired to coach the school’s football program during the 1938-39 school year replacing R.F. Newman.
In his 18 seasons as the coach of the Blackhawks, Walker never saw a losing season. in fact, Walker never had a losing season as a Texas high school football coach. Dating back to the 1932 season for six years as head coach of the Memphis Cyclones, his teams had only two seasons of .500 football. Those two seasons were his first two seasons as a head football coach.
Three of the 18 seasons under Walker, the Blackhawks went undefeated. During the 1940 season and 1942 season, a record of 11-0 and 9-0-1 were recorded. During the time of the 1940 and 1942 seasons, Phillips was in the UIL’s 1A classification. A limited-version of the playoffs existed for up to the regional rounds (two rounds) for 1A until 1948.
The third undefeated season came during the 1954 season, just four years after a fire destroyed the school, forcing a rebuild. The Blackhawks would defeat Floydada and Colorado City before shutting out Littlefield 33-0 in the regional final. The state semifinals saw the Blackhawks take care of a powerhouse in Terrell with a 26-7 score.
The 1954 Class 2A State Championship was held on Christmas Day in Wichita Falls at Coyote Stadium against the Killeen Kangaroos. Behind a dominant offensive line, Blackhawks running back Don Meeks would account for all three scores as Philips would win the game 21-13.
In his 18 seasons with Phillips, Walker compiled a 20-5-3 playoff record, a 37-game winning sreak, 13 district championships and six regional championships.