Chasing history: WO-S to become All-time top team in state in winning percentage

Published 10:24 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

WEST ORANGE — As the West Orange-Stark Mustangs kick off another season, they will continue to make history.

After all, the Mustangs have claimed four state titles (1986, 1987, 2015, 2-16) and have been state runnerups four times as well (1988, 2000, 2014, 2017).

This season, they will not only be on a quest to reach a state title game for the fifth straight year, they’re also going to be able to reach another milestone.

What is it?

Well, when WO-S lines up against the Silsbee Tigers Oct. 12 in their district opener at Hooks Stadium, the Mustangs will become the all-time winningest team by winning percentage in the state’s history and they will own a significant margin over the field.

Texas Football keeps up with records dating back to the beginning of when football was played and to qualify, programs must have played 500 games throughout their history.

The date with the Tigers Oct. 12 will be the Mustangs’ 500th game.

The Mustangs currently own a overall record of 397-93-3 for a stunning winning percentage of .8083.

The top three teams on the list currently is Southlake Carroll (519-151-8, .7713), Odessa Permian (526-164-13, .7574) and Highland Park (816-257-27, .7540).

So many great players have lined up as Mustangs over the years, from NFL All-Pro players Kevin Smith and Earl Thomas, to outstanding college players as well that dotted All-State lists throughout the years.

However, the one constant throughout it all has been the leadership of just three head coaches in Steve McCarthy, Dan Hooks and Cornel Thompson.

Coach McCarthy was tremendous after Stark High School merged with West Orange High School. The two schools were rivals for years and he, along with a staff that featured both Hooks and Thompson, were vital in helping the two schools blend together as one.

McCarthy posted a 29-10-1 (.725) mark before eventually heading off to Nacogdoches were he became a legend at Stephen F. Austin University were he served as athletic director for many, many years.

No one in Southeast Texas posted as many wins as Dan Ray Hooks. Without question, Coach Hooks was one of the most animated coaches as well as he helped push the Mustangs to the top, leading them to four state championship games , including three straight state appearances and two titles from 1986-1988. Coach Hooks finished with an amazing 277-71-2 (.794) record to reach legendary status.

Thompson took over in 2011 and the long-time defensive coordinator has led the Mustangs to amazing heights, that includes two state crowns and two state runnerups.

In Thompson’s seven years at the helm, the Mustangs have at least advanced to the 4A Region III Division II Finals. His record is mind-boggling to say the least as he stands at 91-12 (.883). In his first season, WO-S went 10-4 to reach the regional finals in 2011 and WO-S has been 81-8 since.

The remaining top 10 all-time winning percentage teams also include Austin Westlake at No. 4 (440-146-7, .7478), followed by Houston Yates (435-146-12, .7436), Euless Trinity (416-156-6, .7249), Refugio (711-268-31, .7193), Dallas Carter (416-162-9, .7163), Converse Judson (483-196-10, .7082) and Crawford (602-253-33, .6965).

Three other Golden Triangle teams rank in the top 100 including Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson at No. 25 (591-284-57, .6646), Newton at No 36 (559-293-14, .6535) and Port Neches-Groves at No. 70 (589-345-33, .6261.)

So what’s in store for the Mustangs this year, we’ll all find out in due time. However, no matter what, the program will officially lay claim to having the best winning percentage of all time.