TPW (Tough People Win)
Gunter Tiger Football has been a focal point of life in Gunter, Texas for many decades, and a tradition of excellence has continued to exist and thrive throughout the school’s history. The sport has been gaining momentum in the town since the early 1920’s, when the gold and purple Gunter Buffalos stepped on the field each Friday night, and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. Since the early days in 1957, when the 6-man team captured the Regional Championship (the equivalent of today’s State Championship), Gunter has proven to be a viable and capable team of dominating athletes.
2000’s to Present
In the 2000’s, Gunter’s football program has established itself as a dominant force to be reckoned with in North Texas, a yearly playoff contender and a top program in the region among schools it’s size. Kevin Worthy, Roger Reed, and current coach, Jake Fieszel, continued to load the trophy case with District Championships. The Tigers advanced to the third round and beyond six times since 2007. Some of the most notable rivals that Gunter has faced this decade have been: Whitewright, Celina, Pilot Point, Van Alstyne and, more recently, Pottsboro, S&S and Leonard. According to current head coach, Jake Fieszel, the Whitewright game of 2007, in which Gunter defeated the Tigers of Whitewright 41-6, was the first time Gunter puts their name on the map as a well known program. Since that game, Gunter has made history and advanced up to four rounds deep in the playoffs on multiple occasions. Twice Gunter has fallen to the eventual State Champion in the Regional rounds: Pilot Point 2010 and Waskom 2014. Most impressively, since 2010, Gunter has more victories in it’s classification than any other team in North Texas.
The Fighting Tigers of the 90’s were no different than the other dominant teams that had set the bar high in the previous decades. These teams were led by three head coaches: Mike Terry, David Gage and Hart Jeanis. The 90’s established the Tigers as a deep playoff team. These teams had some stiff competition, with a district that included: Whitewright, Celina, Pilot Point and Van Alstyne. Joe Westman was a dominant player and led his 1993 team to the State Quarterfinals, where they lost on a field goal to Tenaha by the score of 34-32.
1970 and 80’s
Throughout the decades of 1970 and 1980, the Gunter Tigers had impressive talent and commitment to Gunter’s first ever 11 man football teams. With W.J. (Jack) Harris coaching during most of the 70’s, and Rick Cohagan coaching from 1978 to 1982, it is apparent that impressive leadership contributed to the Tigers success during this time. Gunter was only an 8-man team in the early 1970’s, up until 1976, when W.J. Harris introduced the idea of moving up to 1A and fielding an 11 man team. From that moment on, athleticism and performance was the forte of the Gunter Tigers.
Gunter started a football program in 1926 and competed against schools such as Plano and Allen, now 6A programs. In 1957 Gunter actually had a perfect 12-0 season behind the legendary play of brothers Don Dickey and Norman Dickey and genius coaching of W.J. (Jack) Harris. They won the Regional Championship, which was the furthest a team could advance during that time.
Past Head Football Coaches
|1950’s||Eugene Shaw/W.J. (Jack) Harris|
|1970-1977||W.J. (Jack) Harris|
|2001 – 2003||Kevin Worthy|
|2007- current||Jake Fieszel|
College Football Athletes
Don Dickey – Attended and played football at Ranger Junior College
Ed Pitts – Attended and played football at the University of North Texas
Corky Westman – Attended and played football at East Texas State
Sean Terry – Attended and played football at Texas A&M University
Tommy Hunter – Attended and played football at the University of North Texas
Joe Westman – Attended and played football at Southeastern OKlahoma State University
Thomas Byrd – Attended and played football at Harding University
Rodney Pecina – Attended and played football at Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Chad Tucker – Attended and played football at Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Aroldo Nandin – Attends and plays football at Howard Payne
Richard Young – Attends and plays football at Howard Payne
PLAYOFFS (Furthest into Playoffs)
Regional Finals 7 times
Regional Semi Finals 2 times
Area 12 times
Bi-District 4 times
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