Lincoln County Correspondence – October 2016

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Gold Butte, Rising Star Spo

Pahranagat Valley sets national high school record with 94th straight win

Quarterback Tabor Maxwell dives into the end zone for a score against Spring Mountain this year
Quarterback Tabor Maxwell dives into the end zone for a score against Spring Mountain this year
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Who would have thought a few years ago that a little school like Pahranagat Valley High, enrollment 114, would be the owners now of two, count ‘em, two, national records for high school 8-man football. But they are, and how about that!

The Panthers, located in Alamo — a town of about 1,000 some 100 miles north of Las Vegas on U.S. 93, in case you have no idea where it is — on Sept. 2 set a new national record for the most consecutive wins by an 8-man football team.

Star running back Christian Higbee gets through the line in the championship game against Whittell in 2015
Star running back Christian Higbee gets through the line in the championship game against Whittell in 2015

Yes, Virginia, some small schools in the United States do play 8-man football. About 30 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, play that style of ball, usually but not always, among schools with enrollments of 125 students or less. Some smaller schools even play 6-man football. There are 34 schools in Texas that do. What a hoot that ought to be!

But we’re not talking about them, we’re talking about Alamo and their 8-man powerhouse. 94 wins in a row, undefeated, eight straight 1A state championships since 2008! Even 4A Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, good as they are, can’t match that!

The streak might even be longer by the time you read this.

At least once, in October, 2010, the Panthers were listed as the No. 1 eight-man team in the nation by Maxpreps.com, but that poll is highly subjective and changes weekly.

The new record tops Shattuck, Oklahoma’s total of 93 between 2003-2009. Pahranagat now ranks third all-time, regardless of classification, behind De LaSalle (Concord, CA) with 151 wins (1992 – 2003), and Independence (Charlotte, North Carolina) with 109 (2000-07).

Shawn Wadsworth stretches out to catch a pass at Thacher, California in 2015
Shawn Wadsworth stretches out to catch a pass at Thacher, California in 2015

In the streak, the Panthers have averaged 59 points per game, allowing just 12.5, and recorded 20 shutouts.

Pahranagat is a veteran team this season with five returning All 1-A Southern Nevada League members, including record setting senior quarterback Tabor Maxwell.

We said there was a second national record set by the Pahranagat Valley. That one is the highest score by one team in a single game: 128 points, against Coleville, CA, in the state semi-final playoffs in 2008, which was the 11th win in the current streak.

NBC Nightly News in 2014 sent veteran reporter Harry Smith to Alamo to do a story on the Panthers then, when the streak was only 72. He did a nice piece.

Pahranagat Valley coach Ken Higbee holds the state championship trophy high for the team in 2015, as they won a record eighth straight NIAA title
Pahranagat Valley coach Ken Higbee holds the state championship trophy high for the team in 2015, as they won a record eighth straight NIAA title

The team visited the Rose Bowl in 2013, when they played a game with a team in Los Angeles.

Pahranagat is looking to go undefeated again this year, but even if they don’t, the goal is still to win that ninth state championship, which will tie the Pahranagat Valley girls volleyball team, who won nine straight state titles themselves from 1997-2005.

Someday, the streak for the football team will end. Everybody knows that, but is it not a delight to the mind right now? Everyone in the state can be proud, if even just a little bit.

— Dave Maxwellrts Ranch, Linda Faas

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