by Mitzi Loera
This month's issue of Texas monthly contains what many here in West Texas would consider the most prestigious list of all, the 20 best football programs in the state of Texas.
In that list two programs from right here in the Basin.
Friday Night football is huge in Texas, but here in West Texas, it's a culture.
The lights, the crowd, the action.
"Football coaches love to be in West Texas, and if you're a football coach, and you are serious about what you do, West Texas is one of the premiere places to be a coach," said Permian coach Darren Allman.
"When I talk to people from other parts of the state or country they look at me kind of with that strange look when you tell them yeah 15-20 thousand people show up to high school games every Friday night," said Lee Football coach Randy Quisenberry.
Coach Quisenberry's philosophy about what brings west Texans out every Friday night is simple.
"It really is the only game in town when you look around in these areas one of the things you see right off the bat, there's not any colleges that actually play big time football, there's no professional teams, it's what every body does on Friday nights," Quisenberry said.
A tradition deeply rooted in all the programs named in the article. A tradition that Permian Coach Darren Allman instills in his players.
"They do understand where they are at, and we talk to nearly daily about not taking it for granted, and knowing they are in a special place ,and they are going to look back and be a Panther forever," Allman said.
So it's no surprise that Odessa Permian and Midland Lee's football programs would land on a list naming the top twenty high school football programs ever.
"I think it's a great honor obviously for Lee High School, I think it goes back and shows a lot of hard work a lot of dedication. There were a lot of great coaches that made that possible before hand," Quisenberry said.
"We are blessed to be at Permian, and honored that Texas monthly would consider Permian to be one of the best programs of all time," Allman said.
Also making the list, a small town off Interstate Ten, Sonora's football program rounds out at number sixteen.