North Mesquite High School Head Football Coach (1978-1989)
For Gary Childress, winning is a lifestyle, and being a North Mesquite Stallion is part of his DNA. The North Mesquite High School Head Football Coach from 1978-89, Coach Childress is Mesquite ISD’s all-time leader in coaching victories with a 97-27-4 head coaching career record. He led the Stallions to the playoffs five times in eight years and was named the district’s Coach of the Year five times over. Additionally, he was named to the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor and served as MISD’s athletic director from 1990-95.
Mesquite High School Head Football Coach (1968-1977)
It was 1974, and the Skeeters made a run at the State Championship, thanks to former Mesquite High School Head Football Coach Tom Gray. That was the first year since 1941 that MHS had a trip to the playoffs, plus it was MISD’s first-ever football state championship game appearance. Coach Gray enjoyed a 56-39-10 record during his head coaching career and served as the Texas High School Coaches Association director from 1965-67. Named 1974 Coach of the Year by that organization, Gray is certainly an MISD coaching legend.
North Mesquite High School Football
North Mesquite football player Joe Bowden was a fixture of the varsity Stallions team from 1985-88, where he served as the starting inside linebacker. Named to First Team All-State in 1987 and the Dallas Morning News All-Metro Team in 1986 and 1987, he led his team in tackles for two straight years and served as a junior team captain. Bowden played for the University of Oklahoma Sooners, making a name for himself as a defensive player, then was drafted in the fifth round by the Houston Oilers. After an eight-year NFL playing career, a 1999 Super Bowl appearance with the Tennessee Titans and NFL coaching stints with the Cowboys, Rams and 49ers, Bowden is now a football coach at Missouri Baptist University.
Poteet High School Baseball
In the mid-90s, Jason Jennings was a star on the Pirate’s baseball team. Named to All-District in 1995 and 1996, Jennings was honored as the Mesquite ISD MVP in 1996, too. During his senior year, he enjoyed a 10-3 record as Poteet’s pitcher with 132 strikeouts and seven home runs. He went on to play baseball for Baylor University, earning titles like 1999 National Player of the Year, the Dick Howser trophy and the Big 12’s Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999. Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 1999 MLB draft, Jennings was named the 2002 National League Rookie of the Year. He has been honored in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame for being the only player in professional baseball history to pitch a shutout and hit a home run during his major league debut. Jennings also later played for the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers before retiring.
North Mesquite High School Softball
For four straight years, standout softball player Amanda Locke led her North Mesquite team to the playoffs, advancing to the third round each season. In 2007, Locke earned the titles of EA Sports Softball All-American, TGCA and Texas Sportswriters Association Second Team All-State and District MVP. She was named to the First All-District Team as a freshman and claimed the team’s MVP spot in 2004 and 2006. After graduation, Locke attended the University of Alabama on scholarship and won a national championship with the Alabama softball team. Lettering all four years at Alabama, Locke appeared in 224 games for the Crimson Tide and set records including third-most career home runs (54). After playing professionally for the Carolina Diamonds, Locke now serves as the associate head coach for Northwestern State in Louisiana.
JILL GLENN McDILL
North Mesquite High School Girls Basketball
Starting for the Lady Stallions, Jill Glenn McDill made a splash as a sophomore, being named Newcomer of the Year in 1989. Then her junior year, McDill was selected as Mesquite ISD’s Most Valuable Player. As a senior, she was named to the First All-District Team, the Dallas Morning News All-Metro Team and chosen as a TABC All-Star. Continuing her basketball career in college, McDill played for Baylor University in 1991-92. Today, Coach McDill is a well-known, successful high school ladies basketball coach, having won state championships in 2007 and 2015. Her overall record as a high school girls head basketball coach is highly impressive at 509-113 (82 percent).
1948-1950 MESQUITE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAMS
These amazing Lady Skeeters dominated their competitors for three straight years, almost 70 years ago. The state champions of the 1948 High School Girls Basketball League of Texas and 1949/1950 Texas State High School AAU were coached by S.H. Shipley and are Mesquite High School athletic history-makers.
2001 MESQUITE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM
2001 was dubbed as “The Year of the Skeeters” by local author and Mesquite ISD former employee Joe Flowers, and for good reason. It took a special team to go 15-0 and clinch the 5A Division I State Championship – it was unprecedented then and hasn’t been done since. Under the leadership of former Coach Steve Halpin, the Skeeters’ championship year was exhilarating for not only Mesquite High School but the entire city of Mesquite.
Mesquite High School Football / Killed-in-Action / U.S. Army
A member of the 2001 MHS State Championship Football Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and an Eagle Scout, Jeremie Border lettered in cross country, track and soccer before graduating from Mesquite in 2002. Jeremie continued to represent the Skeeters and MISD well as he played football for McMurray University, moving on to serve in the U.S. Army. Border was killed in action in Afghanistan on Sept. 1, 2012, while serving as a Green Beret. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and Afghan Campaign Medal. Additionally he earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Special Forces Tab and Airborne wings among several other accomplishments during his storied career as a military serviceman. We are deeply grateful for Border’s service to our country and proud to call him one of our own.
DR. JOEY PIRRUNG
Mesquite High School Team Physician (1955-1975)
Dr. Joey Pirrung proudly served Mesquite High School athletics as the team physician for 30 years (1955-85). During this time, he provided free physicals and medical care to all Skeeter athletes. Dr. Pirrung contributed enormously to Mesquite ISD athletics by being a mentor to athletic trainers and offering financial assistance for athletic training room supplies. He also sat on the MISD School Board from 1967-76 and worked with Dr. Poteet to help plan and construct Memorial Stadium. A staunch believer in the value of athletic trainers, Dr. Pirrung’s influence in our district is still being felt today.
DR. RALPH H. POTEET
Mesquite ISD Superintendent (1964-1986) / Mesquite High School Football Coach (1955-1959)
A great supporter of athletics in our district, Dr. Ralph Poteet served Mesquite ISD as Superintendent of Schools for more than 20 years (1964-86) and was also Mesquite High School’s head football coach from 1955-59. Poteet was responsible for leading the construction of Mesquite Memorial Stadium in the mid-1970s. His impact lives on, as Memorial remains the second-largest stadium dedicated to high school football in the state. A lifelong educator, Dr. Poteet understood and appreciated the importance of extracurricular activities in the overall development of students. Thanks to his tenure with the district, Mesquite ISD has consistently been a leader in facility construction, the hiring of high-quality head coaches and the hiring of athletic trainers who ensure student athlete safety.