¡ CLASS of 1956 !




55th Reunion PHOTOS

Today's Panther Team

Today's Panther Team

Tuesday February 19th, 2008 - City Council Chambers presented a Proclamation to Austin High's Varsity Football Team for their Historic 2007 Winning Season.

Fellow Panthers,
As we continue enjoying the spoils of our Historic Football season we continue to receive honors for the team, coach and especially the players.  Some of this season’s highest honors include a 10-0 Undefeated Season, Continued ownership of the “Claw” for the 8th year in a row, City of El Paso 2007 Football Coach of the Year, Only El Paso Football Player named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine, Only El Paso Player named to State of Texas Football Team, All District Most Valuable Player and many, many more (see below).  
Coach Batista, his coaching staff and the 2007 varsity football players have truly made history at Austin!  
The school has received positive media coverage throughout the year and fellow exes have contacted the school to see how they can help.  Several major projects have been completed such as the new track, scoreboard, tennis courts and quadrangle.  Other projects are in process i.e. new marquee and landscaping for the front of the school. 
As the Austin Football Boosters we have been very proud to have been supporting  Panther Athletics, Austin High and the Panther community for the past eight years.  We could not have done it without the support of Panther Football players, parents, our volunteers and the financial help of our exes, businesses and friends.   
We have some Championship apparel still available and I will soon send out an e-mail offering it to any exes…
This year we will hold our Football Awards Ceremony and present all the seniors with their small replica award helmets, acknowledge all award winners and present two scholarships. 
As always we appreciate your financial help and hope to continue receiving it.
If you would like to help please send your tax deductible contributions to:
                 Austin Football Boosters
   Mail To : Austin Football Boosters
                 10220 Ashwood
                 El Paso, Texas 79925
Raul Rodriguez
President Austin Football Boosters
Class of ‘76
Austin High vs El Paso High / November 8, 2007
The Mighty Austin Panthers defeat (48–0) the El Paso High Tigers for the 8th consecutive year continuing owning the “CLAW” and clenching the 2007 District 1-4A Championship Title with a perfect 10 – 0 record.  
El Paso Times 12/15/2007 / 16th Annual Senior All-Star Football Classic
Panther Pride: Players Finish Year In Style
Austin HS Seniors Help Make History For Program - Five members of the Austin High School football team were chosen to play for the West in todays 16th Annual Senior All-Star Football Classic at the Sun Bowl.  Representing the brown and gold for the West All-Stars will be tailback Edwin Morales, cornerback Travis Arrellano, defensive end Larry Hernandez, defensive linemen Jonathan Mata and noseguard Jordan Sonora.  These Austin seniors hope to continue making their fans proud at 2:05 p.m. today, when they suit up one final time for the 16th Annual Senior All-Star Football Classic at the Sun Bowl.
West Offensive Most Valuable Player
Edwin Morales, Austin Running Back, Senior
El Paso Times 12/20/2007 / 7 city players named to 4A All- State Team
Austin High School Senior defensive end Larry Hernandez led a contingent of seven El Paso players named to the Associated Press Sports Editors 2007 Class 4A All-State Football Team.   Hernandez, who played in last week’s 16th Annual Senior All-Star Classic and finished the season with 19 sacks and 65 tackles, was named to the all-state team as a second team defensive lineman.
Among 6 other players, running back Edwin Morales of Austin was also chosen as an offensive honorable mention. 
El Paso Times 12/24/2007 / 2007 1-4A All-District Football Team High Honors: Most Valuable Player
Ernest Raya, Austin Quarter Back, Junior 
Offensive Co-Most Valuable Player
Edwin Morales, Austin Running Back, Senior
Defensive Most Valuable Player
Larry Hernandez, Austin Defensive End, Senior
Offensive First Team
Jacob Monteros, Austin Offensive Lineman, Junior   
Jesus Puente, Austin Offensive Lineman, Senior   
Ben Sustaita, Austin Running Back, Junior 
Erick Rodriguez, Austin Kicker, Sophomore 
Defensive First Team
Jonathan Mata, Austin Defensive Lineman, Senior
Mark Burns, Austin Defensive Lineman, Senior
Marcus Calhoun, Austin Defensive Secondary, Junior
Offensive Second Team
Michael Arellano, Austin Wide Receiver, Senior
Manuel Gutierrez, Austin Tight End, Senior
Defensive Second Team
Michael Arellano, Austin Secondary, Senior
Ray Calhoun, Austin Secondary, Junior
Jerry Bañuelos, Austin Inside Linebacker, Junior
Honorable Mention
Samuel Peña, Austin Offensive Lineman, Senior
Jesus Puente, Austin Offensive Lineman, Senior   
Jorge Morales, Austin Offensive Wide Receiver, Senior   
Samuel Lopez Jr, Austin Offensive Lineman, Junior
Jair Avila, Austin Offensive Lineman, Junior
Jordan Sonora, Austin Defensive Lineman, Senior
Erick Hernandez, Austin Defensive Secondary, Senior 
Cruz Ceniceros, Austin Inside Linebacker, Senior 
Jesus Martinez, Austin Defensive Lineman, Junior
Daniel Garcia, Austin Punter, Junior 
El Paso Times 12/25/2007 / El Paso Times All-City Football Team 
High Honors: Coach of the Year
Ruben Batista, Austin Head Coach 
Tenure: 8th season
2007 Season Record: 11-1
Led Austin to an undefeated regular season, it’s first since 1937 and their outright district 1-4A title since 1962.  Austin’s 31-6 victory over Parkland in the playoffs marked its first bi-district win since beating Eastwood in 5A in 1991. 
Offensive First Team
Edwin Morales, Austin Running Back, Senior
Named District 1-4A Offensive Co-Most Valuable Player and earned Class 4A all-state honorable mention honors.  Rushed for 1,813 yards and 21 touchdowns. 
Jacob Monteros, Austin Offensive Lineman, Junior   
Named first team All-District 1-4A.  Leader of offensive line that averaged more  than 370 yards rushing per game.

Honorable Mention
Ernest Raya, Austin Quarter Back, Junior 
Ben Sustaita, Austin Running Back, Junior 

Defensive First Team
- High Honors: Defensive Most Valuable Player
Larry Hernandez, Austin Defensive End
   Named District 1-4A Defensive Most Valuable Player and earned Class 4A all-state Second team honors.  Recorded 19 sacks, 65 tackles and two fumble recoveries (one for touchdown). 
Defensive Second Team
Marcus Calhoun, Austin, Junior
Honorable Mention
Jonathan Mata, Austin Defensive Lineman, Senior
Mark Burns, Austin Defensive Lineman, Senior
Travis Arellano, Austin Defensive Back, Senior
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine / Winter Edition
Only one city player was named to the magazine’s All-Texas High School Team, and that is Austin High School Senior defensive end Larry Hernandez, who was on the second team defense after helping lead the Panthers to an 11-1 overall record.
The district 1-4A Player of the Year is running back Edwin Morales from Austin.

Austin High School Panthers: Undefeated
November 8, 2007

The last time Austin High School finished the season undefeated, Harry Truman was president, the United Nations met for the first time, and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" was a hit song. That was in 1946. Now some 60-plus years later, the team is hoping to sing "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" again, by completing an undefeated season, and doing it without a single home game.

It's the oldest rivalry in El Paso high school football: Austin High versus El Paso High. The two teams battle it out every year for the claw.

"It's our homecoming game, it's against El Paso High, and it's also the claw game, so we're fighting for the claw," said Anthony Caraballo, an Austin High School junior.

The homecoming pep rally at Austin High school seemed extra exciting on Thursday considering the Panthers may go 10-0 for the first time in more than six decades, with a win over El Paso High on Thursday.

"This is history right here, this is wonderful, this is history," said Austin High School Principal Angelo Pokluda.

"Perfect score so far, perfect season," said Jasmin Palomo, an Austin High School junior.

"It's been pretty magical. If you were going to ask me at the beginning of the year how well we were going to do, I'd say we ought to be pretty good, but I never expected this," said Austin High School's Head Football Coach Ruben Batista.

What may make the season more magical, the team hasn't played a single home game this year as the track and field sits under construction.

"The kids have really handled it real well, and this bunch here just wanted to play, they didn't care where they were going to play, they just wanted to play," said Batista.

"I don't know, the way we've been playing without a home field, I'm inclined to play everywhere else but here," said Pokluda.

So what will the final outcome be?  "We're going to blow them away, they're not going to be able to stop us," said Caraballo.

"Oh, we're going to win. We're going to keep the claw another year," said Pokluda.

"I know our boys are going to come out strong on top," said Palomo.

El Paso's Austin High Makes History!
January 4th, 2008

Article By  Michelle Murray

Austin High School clearly made history this past year. Competing with a record that hadn’t been matched since World War II was going on, The Panthers remained undefeated this season. According to Defensive End Mark Burns, the strong traditions and pride felt by the Austin football players was key to pushing this team forward.

Hard work was a factor as well. When their peers were out at the movies or engaging in other teen fancies, this group of boys was conditioning in the weight room and running to get into shape. Larry Hernandez, Defensive End, points out this was necessary to surpass the technique and skill of this year’s opponents. Mark Burns says “We worked really hard on our running game and also on our passing game”.

The team’s ability to actually be a “team” and not a group of individuals also contributed to the success of The Panthers. Josh Baca, #41, shared “We are all willing to help each other out. We all have the same mission—which is winning the District Championship and going undefeated. We are all hardworking and we have so much faith in each other”. Josh was also quick to point out the fact that Coach Ruben Batista is an essential element of the team. “Our Coach motivates us because he and all the other coaching staff believe in us. Just belonging to this team has been a blessing. This is definitely an experience of a lifetime. Proud to be a Panther!”

Citywide, it seems everyone enjoyed coming out and witnessing school history being made because as Wide Receiver Travis Arrellano points out, the Austin mindset, no matter what adversity is being faced, is always the same—to win

The Sun Bowl Times

Wayne Thornton
 offers insights into the inner workings of the Sun Bowl;
he is a past president of the Sun Bowl Board of Directors

January 31, 2008

Austin High School Sports Resurgence

How would the Sun Bowl Association affect High School Sports or even a particular High School? First of all the Sun Bowl Association is much more than a group that just does the Brut Sun Bowl Football game each year.

As mentioned before there is the Parade, Basketball Tournament, Sun Court, various youth activities such as a Charm Camp for girls, Punt, Pass and Kick, Youth Basketball Camps and the list goes on and on of the remarkable achievements that the association is involved in.

Austin High School is one such school that has stepped up in a big way in terms of athletics and academics at the central El Paso school. Angelo Pokluda has been the leader in that effort along with great teachers and an administration that truly cares.

Ruben Batista, the head football coach is a person that was a 1976 graduate of the school and has been the head coach for the past 10 years. This year however was probably the greatest story of recent memory and easily the greatest sports story of the year.

Batista a Sun Bowl Volunteer for the Big 12/Big East team each year for the Brut Sun Bowl each year, had South Florida this year. But from August to November his team of the Brown and the Gold and the panthers mesmerized their opponents to the tune of going 10-0, thus Mr. Batista being named Coach of the Year by the El Paso Times Newspaper.

A special time and place for the school, that definitely loses many students each year to rival Chapin High School, and although the amenities of Austin cannot keep pace with the newer Chapin, their staff, student body and school carries just as much pride and tradition and perhaps more as the city's second oldest school.

So now in girls basketball, and boys basketball they are both fighting for playoff berths and with legendary Hall of Fame Track and Field Coach Truman Wills and upcoming softball and baseball seasons, the Panthers are ready to claw their way to the top.

In a way all because of a football Coach named Batista that started it all. Go Panthers!!!!