The 1988 Carter High School Cowboys were one of the greatest high school football teams ever assembled. They won the state championship that year. Most of them received college scholarships, and three ’88 Cowboys went on to play in the NFL.
But the team also was the subject of scandal. That summer, 16 Carter students were arrested and charged with armed robbery following a string of hold ups in the Redbird area. Four of them were state-champion Carter Cowboys, two of whom served prison time for the robberies.
Coach Freddie James had played an ineligible student (the player’s algebra grade was disputed), and in 1991, the team was stripped of its state title.
The ’88 Cowboys were featured in H.G. Bissinger’s 1990 book, “Friday Night Lights,” and its 2004 film adaptation.
In a 2008 Dallas Morning News story about the team, coach James said the 20-year anniversary would not be celebrated.
“No, it’s all over,” James told the DMN in 2008. “I don’t think they want to draw attention to it.”
But now, a quarter century later, Carter is ready to celebrate its ’88 team. Many of the ’88 Cowboys will attend the Carter homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Kincaide Stadium, and a halftime presentation will honor the team.