Wink High Football Wink, Texas

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Wink, Texas...One of many west Texas Boomtowns

Wink, Texas did not exist in 1925. Oil was discovered there in 1926, and by 1927, Wink was suddenly on the map with an instant population of 3,500 people. Wink is located in the Permian Basin of west Texas. During the oil boom and the early years, Wink was a rough place. Bootlegging (this was in the middle of Prohibition), gambling, and prostitution could all be found in the tiny west Texas town. By 1929, the population was 6,000 people and a high school was built.

Major oil companies operating in the area helped fund a football team and recruited players (often by hiring the fathers of good athletes), including a few young men said to be in their twenties. Weekend games - complete with a huge marching band and after-game suppers became the thing to do in Wink and were a source of tremendous community pride. During Wink's greatest years as a football power, high school students could continue on a team until they were 21, and , as a former coach recalls, "beyond that if they understated their age."

Wink, whose high school football team achieved near-legendary area fame in the 1930's, offers a good illustration of football's importance in Permian Basin oil communities. The whole town turned out to see home games and enjoy after-game gatherings and suppers. Great numbers traveled to watch the team when it played out of town. High school football gave immediate source of community pride.

As the oil mania played out, Wink's population declined, to about 1,500 in the 1940's, then to 919 in 2000. The Wink wildcat football team plays on today...


Roger and Diana Olien, Oil Booms: Social Change in Five Texas Towns, p.152

Hollywood and West Texas High School Football

West Texas High School Football is no stranger to the big screen. The book, Friday Night Lights is about the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school team in Odessa. A film followed in 2004, then a popular T.V. show.

Varsity Blues (1999) is another Hollywood movie about West Texas High School Football...