Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Allen carries all key ingredients of a high school football dynasty
After Allen won a state title in 2008, coach Tom Westerberg told the players they would always be the school’s first football champions. But their one-loss season would eventually be topped, he said.
“Somebody will come through and go 16-0,” he told the players.
Five years after the first title, Allen’s current team is one win from becoming that somebody. Allen (15-0) can finish a perfect season and claim a second straight Class 5A Division I title with a win over Pearland (14-1) at 4 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
“We want to show that we can do it back-to-back,” said Allen junior receiver Jalen Guyton. “That’s when they start talking about dynasties.”
Two straight titles might not cement a dynasty, but Allen has built a foundation to support the claim. The Eagles have won 26 straight games and have a record of 99-10 during a run of eight straight seasons with at least 10 wins. With a victory Saturday, Allen would join Southlake Carroll and Euless Trinity as the only Dallas-area teams to win at least three 5A titles in the last 10 years.
Trinity won titles in 2005, ’07 and ’09 and was runner-up in 2010. Carroll won in 2011, but it’s the 2002-06 stretch that is the measuring stick for big-school dynasties statewide. The Dragons advanced to five straight 5A title games, won four championships and went 79-1 over five seasons.
It’s hard to imagine any program doing that again, but Allen is positioned as well as anyone to be the next great dynasty. It could be the next Carroll, Converse Judson (seven 5A finals, four titles from 1988-98) or Katy, which has won six 5A championships since 1997 and plays Cedar Hill at 8 p.m. Saturday in the 5A Division II final.
“We’re just trying to be the Allens,” said Westerberg, who has a record of 117-16 in 10 seasons as Allen’s coach. “We’re not trying to be other people.”
It’s quite the opposite. Other people would like to have Allen’s ingredients for a dynasty.
Allen has a state-of-the-art field house and possibly the best high school stadium in the country. It’s the state’s largest school with nearly 6,000 students in grades nine through 12, and from seventh grade to the varsity squad this year, 1,189 students played football. That’s not a talent pool, it’s an ocean.
Allen is the only high school in a city that is still growing and is loaded with young families and enthusiastic, talented, football players in its middle schools. It will also have coaching continuity because it’s recognized as one of the best high school jobs in the country.
Those are the building blocks of a dynasty.
That doesn’t mean they’ll add up to one, of course. Just last Saturday, Allen trailed DeSoto by 15 points in the fourth quarter. The building blocks were wobbling against DeSoto, another potential dynasty that has won 28 games the last two seasons and has only two losses — to Allen.
But dynastic runs usually have some wobbles. Trinity rallied from two-touchdown deficits in the 2005 and 2009 title games. During Carroll’s 79-1 run, the Dragons trailed Lufkin by 16 in the third quarter in 2002, Plano by 11 in the third quarter in 2005 and needed a late touchdown to beat Trinity by a single point in 2006.
“We did what we had to do to win,” Allen cornerback Mayomi Olootu said after Saturday’s win over DeSoto.
That’s what it takes, over and over, to become a dynasty. Nothing can be taken for granted in a state with so many excellent football teams eager to topple a dynasty — or one in the making.
The next game is the most important one.
“It would be historic,” linebacker Christian Sam said. “That’s the word.”
“It would be very special,” quarterback Kyler Murray said. “Going 16-0 and being the first team to do that at Allen High School.”
The first, but probably not last.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.