The decade that began in the year 2000 was one that most people around the state could not have expected for this dusty little, West Texas town and it’s high school football program. After all, the first two seasons for Lobo faithful were one’s that cast a long shadow on the Lobo program after having made huge strides during the 1990’s decade.
During that time the Loboes made several playoff appearances after having only made one trip into the postseason (a highly memorable quarterfinal appearance in 1983) during the 1980’s under the guidance of now Texas high school football coaching legend Jon Ed Parchman. Cisco made the playoffs under the leadership of Head Coaches Rick Frazier and Eddie Gill during the ’92, ’93, ’94, ’96, and ’97 seasons. Unfortunately, those five trips to the playoffs were “one and done” experiences but nonetheless, they created excitement for Lobo fans after a lengthy playoff drought in this sports hungry community.
The decade beginning in the year 2000 did not start off with high expectations. After two consecutive years of 3-7 campaigns to end the decade (’98-’99), Cisco finished the season of 2000 with a dismal 1-9 record. The lone victory that season came in an upset of the Jim Ned Indians by a score of 21-6.
2001 wasn’t much better. That season the Loboes were led by new head football coach Brent West, who had served as an assistant during the 2000 season. The Loboes fought hard during the season but managed only two victories. The Loboes began the season by winning two of their first three games…a 28-12 win over Haskell was followed two weeks later by a 7-0 win over the Albany Lions and Cisco appeared to maybe be coming back out of the cellar. Unfortunately, the Loboes finished the season by losing seven consecutive to finish at 2-8 in Brent West’s first season of head coaching experience. Then everything changed.
Cisco had a remarkable 2002 season that included 15 consecutive victories before losing in the state title game to a very good Rosebud-Lott team by a score of 34-0. The Big Dam Loboes re-emerged as the “scourge of West Texas” by winning region one and moving on with equally impressive and exciting victories.
The Loboes beat old county rival Eastland in their return appearance as a class AA team after dropping down from the AAA level in 2002. The score was 21-20 and it was a very well played; tight game. It was the only game during the year prior to the playoffs that the Loboes were really challenged. When the playoffs came though, that all changed.
Cisco managed a hard fought 16 point victory in the first round over Wichita Falls City View (36-20) which marked the first playoff victory for the Loboes since their 1983 football campaign. That win was followed by a 48-33 win over Panhandle. Then came two consecutive overtime playoff wins over Idalou (20-12) and Crane (34-28). A 55-22 thumping of Winters propelled the Loboes into their first ever state championship appearance and began a run of eight consecutive playoff appearances for a team that had managed to captivate the hearts of all Lobo faithful and many outside Cisco.
The 2002 team managed to score 621 points on the year while only allowing 247 to its opponents, ranking it as one of the top offensive and defensive units in the history of Big Dam Lobo football which to date has managed 472 wins, 423 losses, and 32 ties dating back all the way to 1913. The team was also a catalyst for the teams and players that followed them and appears to have set the mold for everything Lobo football.
Over the course of the next three seasons (2003-2005), the Loboes kept their winning ways intact as they managed to win at least eight wins per year going 10-2 in ’03 and ’04 and 8-3 in ’05. The Loboes made a valiant run at eventual state champion Crawford in ’04, losing to the champs in the area round in double overtime by a score of 27-24. That would be the closest any team would come to beating Crawford during the entire season and the Loboes were the only team to take the Pirates into overtime as well as the only time Crawford would not win a game by more than one touchdown on the year.
In 2006 the Loboes began a run at another state title appearance; this time going 14-2 on the year while scoring 605 points and giving up 241. Although they started off the season with a loss, 32-20 to the Early Longhorns, Cisco went on to win 14 consecutive games outscoring their opponents by an average score of 40-13 during that span. The closest game the Loboes had in that stretch was a 31-29 victory over the Lone Oak Buffaloes in the second round of the playoffs. With under two minutes to go in the game, the Lobo defense stopped Lone Oak and their talented all-state running back on first and goal at the Lobo one yard line….forcing a fumble in that series to secure their win. Although the team didn’t win in the programs second state title appearance of the decade, they won the hearts of many around the state with their heart-filled determination.
In 2007 the Loboes made another spectacular run finishing the season with a 14-1 record coming up one win short of their third state title appearance. Eventual state champion Canadian ended the Lobo season on a very chilly afternoon in Lubbock during the semifinal game at Lowery Field. That particular squad set the single season scoring mark in the history of Big Dam Lobo football racking up a total of 639 points on the year. The defense wasn’t too shabby either as it gave up a total of only 119 points to some very talented football teams. Eleven of the fifteen opponents on the end of the season Lobo schedule were playoff teams. Cisco managed to beat all but one and for the fourth time in six seasons, the Loboes saw the eventual state champion eliminate them from their dream of walking off the field with the state championship trophy. 2008 would prove no different.
In the ’08 campaign, the Loboes were able to score 608 points on the season. That was the second most points by a Lobo team in any season since they began playing. The defense did a fairly good job also in its first campaign under the leadership of new defensive coordinator Brad Brunson. Lobo opponents managed only 244 points against the Loboes during the season. Once again the Loboes found themselves in the state championship game and once again they were up against a very big, fast team in Daingerfield. The Tigers beat the Loboes in Waco 26-8 despite a great effort by the Loboes. This marked only the second loss on the season for the Big Dam Loboes who finished with a 14-2 record on the year.
In 2009, the final year of the decade, the Loboes fielded a fairly young team as experience goes, with many new names and faces filling in some spots that hadn’t been vacant in a while due to a strong senior class from the season before. It appeared that maybe this would be the year the Loboes would struggle. That wasn’t the case. Cisco went undefeated on the regular season….only the fifth Lobo team in the long history of Cisco football to do so. The Loboes were able to score 513 points in 13 games. Opponents were able to score 259 points in the same span against the Loboes who managed a 12-1 record on the year…falling in overtime to Crane 31-28 in San Angelo during the Regional title game.
By the end of the first decade in the 21st century Cisco had once again become a landmark on the football map in class AA for the state of Texas. Three regional championships and state title appearances, four trips to the Regional Title game, four Quarterfinal victories, four regional round titles in five appearances, five area championships in eight appearances, and seven bi-district titles in eight appearances.
A record of 100 wins and 31 losses during that 10 year run…leaving Head Coach Brent West one win shy of 100 in nine seasons. The next decade beginning with 2010 looks bright as the Lobo underclassmen teams continue to rack up wins and championships. The young men of Cisco look forward to their opportunity to play in the Black and Gold uniforms of their Friday night heroes and all the Cisco faithful continue to support the Loboes with well wishes for more success…and hopefully that elusive state championship!