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Re-live Thursday Night Lights During Texas Relays

By Leslie Blair

PVIL football

Re-live Thursday Night Lights during a special exhibit of Prairie View Interscholastic League (PVIL) memorabilia on display in the North End Zone of the DKR Texas Memorial Stadium March 29-30, 2018, during the 91st Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Retired coach Robert Brown will be on hand to answer questions for much of the time during the exhibit.

PVIL football
Players from the early years of PVIL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PVIL served as the governing body for extracurricular activities at Black Texas high schools for 50 years. Many great players like Ernie Banks, “Mean” Joe Green, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Jerry LeVias, Charley Taylor and Gene Upshaw all had their starts in PVIL, playing on weeknights to avoid conflicts with the mostly white high school games played on Friday nights.

Originally called the Texas Interscholastic League of Colored Schools, PVIL served as the governing body for extracurricular activities for Texas Black high schools until 1970.

PVIL was based at Prairie View College and was modeled on the University Interscholastic League at the University of Texas at Austin. After the UIL became desegregated in 1965, schools began joining UIL at the start of the 1967-68 school year. By 1970 the organization dissolved. The organization’s history is kept alive through the work of the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association which was started in 2006.

Learn more about the league at www.pvilca.org. For more information about the exhibit, call 512-232-4621.