|Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association
"Remembering the Past With Pride"
For 50 years, beginning in 1920, the Prairie View Interscholastic League governed academic, athletic, and band competitions
for black high school students in Texas. Working with limited resources, the PVIL produced numerous outstanding students
who became successful citizens, athletes, entertainers, and more, from U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (Houston
Wheatley) to choreographer Debbie Allen (Houston Yates) to Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller (Waco Moore) and six members
of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Now, Michael Hurd, historian and author ("Black College Football, 1892-1992") and also a PVIL alumnus (E.E. Worthing,
1967), is documenting the PVIL's rich history and you can help. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your memories of
attending a PVIL school and send images (for careful scanning and return) to be used in the book. Or, print and complete
this short questionnaire and submit to the PVILCA.
Help tell the world what proud, successful people came out of PVIL schools and celebrate an enduring statewide and global
Click on the image to view a brief video about the PVIL and its memorabilia
The exhibit is housed in the Marvin C. Griffin Bldg., 1009 E. 11th St , Austin
|What Do You Know About the PVIL? Have
some fun and test yourself with this
crossword puzzle on PVIL history -- which
was not just about sports.
This site celebrates the Prairie View Interscholastic League which existed from 1920 to 1970. The PVIL was the governing body for academic, athletic, and
music competitions for black high schools in Texas during the state's segregationist era. In its 50-year existence, the PVIL produced numerous outstanding
coaches, athletes, students, and citizens. On these pages, you will find records, images, profiles of schools, coaches, players, and more. Despite the social mood
of the era, during the PVIL's peak its 500 member schools -- with all-black enrollments -- had lively, exciting, and proud competitions which were as
entertaining, passionate, and fierce as any in the land.
Eli Reed, an award-winning photographer and documentary
filmmaker, has produced a 15-minute clip about the PVIL
featuring former football players at Central High School in
Galveston. This clip is the first for what will be a longer and
more in-depth film about the history of the PVIL. Click here or
on the image to view the clip.
PVIL: The Video
Beaumont Hebert's Jerry Levias, the first black scholarship football player in the Southwest Conference, and Warren Wells, one of the all-time
great wide receivers, will be among over 100 inductees for the 2015 class of the PVILCA Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor Induction ceremonies set
for July 18, 1:30 p.m. at the Westin Galleria in Houston.
Other notable inductees include, quarterbacks Karl Douglas (Houston Worthing) and Leo Taylor (Jack Yates), tight end Rhome Nixon (Yates),
and basketball center Dwight Davis (Worthing). A meritorious award will be presented to Capt. Paul J. Matthews of the National Buffalo Soldiers
The PVILCA's annual banquet has grown with each year setting a new record for attendance. Last summer's event had a gathering of over
800 in San Antonio and another large crowd is expected for the Houston event.
"We're delighted that the banquet's popularity has grown along with our organization's membership," said Robert Brown, PVILCA board
chairman. "Our motto is "Remembering the Past With Pride," and the banquet typifies that. It's a day for reunion, camaraderie, remembrance,
appreciation, and recognition. Through the years, there have been so many incredible people – coaches, athletes, administrators, and others –
who made the PVIL experience something special, and for many of them this is the only public recognition of their participation and service.
"The existence of the PVIL and its all-black schools is a time we won't see again, so this is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to
come out and share in the recognition with their own sense of pride. And we have another outstanding class of inductees this year."
LeVias tops the list. He starred as a quarterback at Hebert, but in 1966 when he suited up at Southern Methodist University he was a wide
receiver for head coach Hayden Fry. LeVias was the first black scholarship athlete in the Southwest Conference and the second black football
player in the Southwest Conference. John Westbrook, a running back, was a walk-on at Baylor and played in a game for the Bears one week
before LeVias' debut.
LeVias was an All-American (athletic and academic) as a senior and twice led the league in receiving and left SMU with numerous school and
conference career records. With the Houston Oilers, he was selected to the 1969 American Football League All-Star Team. He is a member of
both the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Wells was an exciting receiver with speed and sure hands at Hebert, Texas Southern University and with the Oakland Raiders. He was a 12th
round pick by the Detroit Lions in 1964, played one season there, but was called to the Army for two years. After discharge, he signed with the
Raiders and played four seasons becoming the prime deep target for quarterback Daryle Lamonica, who became known as the "Mad Bomber."
In Wells' best season, 1969, he caught 47 passes for 1,260 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the American Football League in receiving. He
was twice named to the Pro Bowl (1968, 1970).
Prairie View's great defensive back Ken Houston, an NFL Hall of Famer, has said of Wells: "Warren was the original 'Dr. Doom.' He was cold-
Click here for a complete list of inductees.
Hebert's LeVias, Wells top 2015 PVILCA HOF/Hall of Honor class
|The Westin Galleria
5060 West Alabama Street
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: (713) 960-8100
Hotel Reservations: 888-627-8514
|2015 PVILCA Hall of Fame and
Hall of Honor Banquet
July 18, 1:30 p.m.
PVIL mobile museum exhibits on display at UIL and in schools
The PVILCA traveling exhibit, replete with historic artifacts that help tell the story of
Prairie View Interscholastic League athletics, is currently on display at the UIL offices in
Austin, but several schools have also expressed interest in having similar displays, as
well as learn about the league's history.
Here are the dates and schools for the mobile museum display:
- Feb. 16th 7:30 a.m. Newton High School, history classes (all day)
- Feb. 17th 2:00 p.m. Kountze HS, general assembly (until end of school day)
- Feb. 18th 9:30 a.m. Kirbyville HS, history classes, display in cafeteria foyer (until
end of lunch)
- Feb. 19th 9:00-11 a.m. Silsbee HS, general assembly
- Feb. 19th 2 p.m. Silsbee Middle School, general assembly (until end of school day)
- Feb. 20th 8:00-10 a.m. Jasper Middle School, history classes, display in foyer
All of the schools are inviting the public to come out and view the displays. Some of
the local Hall of Fame recipients and nominees from the PVILCA will attend assemblies in
What most will learn from the displays and PVIL-era coaches and athletes on hand
at the schools is that, in a different era, when Texas and the rest of the South was
segregated, UIL membership was open only to public white schools and would remain so
for more than 50 years after its inception in 1910.
However, in 1920, the Prairie View Interscholastic League (originally called the Texas Interscholastic League of Colored Schools) was formed
to provide leadership and governance for the state’s Negro high school students by mirroring the UIL. In 1964, the UIL integrated and opened its
membership to PVIL schools, leading to the PVIL closing in 1970.
Like the UIL, the PVIL’s honor roll reads like a Who’s Who of national prep, college and professional greats such as U.S. Representative
Barbara Jordan (Houston Wheatley H.S.), Texas Western basketball's David Lattin (Houston Worthing) who was featured in the book and hit movie
“Glory Road,” Charlie “Choo-Choo” Brackins (Dallas Lincoln) the first black quarterback drafted to the NFL (1955, 16th round), and Eldridge
Dickey (Houston Washington) the first black quarterback drafted in the first round of the NFL (1968).
Many of the PVIL schools were closed during integration losing valuable information, records and trophies. What remains is being shared with
the general public as American History. With their mobile memorabilia museums, the PVIL Coaches Association tells the stories of amazing student
athletes and coaches through displays of lettermen’s jackets, photos, trophies, and stories of the pride, dedication and success of student athletes
and coaches from 1920-1970.
The PVILCA's permanent exhibit can be viewed year-round in Austin at the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community
Engagement Center located at 1009 E. 11 Street.
For more information about the mobile museum and if you'd like to schedule the display for your school contact Melody McClain-Edwards at
Former Baytown Carver sprinter inducted to Lincoln (Mo.) University Hall of Fame
Former Baytown Carver High School track star and PVILCA Hall of Fame inductee (2011), Albert Wheatfall was recently
inducted into the Lincoln University Hall of Fame.
In 1962, he was voted MVP of the Midwest Athletic Association for his accomplishments at Lincoln, located in Jefferson
City, Mo. Wheatfall set school records in the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash and as a member of the 440-yard relay team
during his time with the Blue Tigers. (View a clip of the induction ceremony here.)
At Carver, Wheatfall was a member of the 1958 football state championship team as a running back. Also in 1958, he
won the 100-yard dash and the 220-yard dash state championships and ran the anchor leg on the 440-yard relay team that
also won the state title.
Read Warren Singleton's story about Wheatfall here.