Abilene High School is a public high school located in Abilene, Texas and is part of the Abilene Independent School District. Abilene High School is the name given to three different schools in the past 150 years. The first Abilene High was an old warehouse. Not long after that, the school was moved to what is now the former Lincoln Middle School. In 1955, Abilene High was moved to its current location at N 6th and Mockingbird. Its main rival in sports is Cooper High School. Abilene High’s mascot is the bald eagle. The Abilene High Marching Band is accepted to be the oldest marching band in Texas.
Abilene High, the Division 2 5A 2009 State Football Champions. The school has one of the most tradition-rich football programs in the state of Texas. Coached by P. E. Shotwell, for whom Shotwell Stadium is named, Abilene won its first state championship in 1923, beating Waco 3-0 (Waco had held opponents scoreless since 1921; they had beaten Abilene 13-0 the previous year). Besides Dallas Oak Cliff, Abilene High was the only school able to beat Paul Tyson’s Waco dynasty during the 1920s.
Shotwell left Abilene High following that title run in 1923, taking over at Hardin-Simmons University. In 1927, Dewey Mayhew became the Eagles head coach. He guided them to their second state title in 1928, and a third one in 1931. Mayhew left as the school’s winningest coach in 1941 to coach at Texas A&I (now Texas A&M University–Kingsville). His successor, Vernon Hilliard, only coached five seasons before Pete Shotwell returned for a second stint in 1946.
During the 1950s, the city of Abilene nearly doubled its size because of the Texas Oil Boom. While the school’s enrollment reached new heights, the Eagles football program also reached its peak. Under Shotwell’s successor Chuck Moser Abilene won three consecutive state titles (1954–56) and 49 consecutive games, which stands as a national record.
Moser left Abilene in 1959, his successors Wally Bullington (1960–65) and David McWilliams (1966–69) were not able to keep Abilene High football on that high level, especially since Abilene Cooper High School opened in 1960 and afterwards drew a lot of students away from Abilene High. By 1970, Abilene Eagles football fell into a drought for almost three decades. From 1988 to 1995, the Eagles had 8 consecutive losing seasons.
However, things started to turn around when Steve Warren arrived in 1996. His teams went unbeaten in 2004 and 2005, but lost to Southlake Carroll in the 5A Division II Regionals both years. In the 2007 season, the Abilene Eagles faced Southlake Carroll again in the Regional semifinals, this time beating them 22-21 to end the Dragon’s run of consecutive state championship appearances and their 58-game winning streak against Texas teams. In the next week of the playoffs, the Eagles defeated Lewisville Hebron 20-10. The Eagles advanced to the state semi-finals for the first time in over 50 years. In 2009, the Eagles had an undefeated season and won the Division II State Finals against Katy High School 28-17, giving the Abilene Eagles its 7th State Championship and first in 53 years.
The Abilene Eagles Football team, after it’s undefeated season and a State Championship, was given a sponsorship by Nike, and was given new equipment and gear.
The Eagles began their 2010 season by accepting an invitation for Florida’s 2009 State Champions Plant High School to come to Texas for a pre-season game. The game was live on ESPN and was nicknamed the “Texas vs. Florida” game. Abilene Eagles defeated Plant 27-14. During the Eagles’ 2010 season, MTV sent cameras to follow Senior Running Back Herschel Sims and the Abilene Eagles Football Team, who was to be featured on MTV’s “World of Jenks”. The Eagles made it to the third round of playoffs, only to lose to long-time rival and top-ranked Southlake Carroll 38-24.