PHS mascot: Phillips Blackhawks

Phillips High School
Alumni Association
P.O. Box 1710, Borger TX 79008

PHS mascot: Phillips Blackhawks

 

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A Tribute to Bill Clemmons, PHS Girls Basketball Coach

Clemmons is pictured with the 1975 Phillips girls basketball state semi-finalist team.
 
On Tuesday, May 27, 2008 Coach Bill Clemmons passed away at the age of 76.  

A native of Lefors, Clemmons coached in many area towns including Gruver, Perryton, Adrian,Spring Creek, and Stinnett, but  he is widely remembered for leading the Phillips girls basketball teams to back to back state finals in 1975 and 1976, with the Blackhawkettes winning it the state title in 1976.
One of the players he coached and current Lubbock Monterey girls head basketball coach, Jill Rankin Schneider, said she owes the success she has enjoyed to what Clemmons taught her.
Below is a tribute written by Mona Hendrickson Fannon, who was an All-Region Guard on the 1975 state runner up team.

Perhaps it was a quick grin or simply a pat on the back, or sometimes it was our last names or nicknames shouted in a loud voice.  Sometimes he got in our face with a desperate plea, or even a raised eyebrow to stop and make you think.  In the next moment, he was cheering you on with a smile from ear to ear.
Everyone in Phillips, TX remembers his name—it was Coach Bill Clemmons, a very extraordinary coach.  Some may say all coaches are extraordinary, but his players would disagree and tell you why he was so unique.
He came to Phillips, TX to coach the Lady Blackhawks back in the fall of 1973.
There should have been several years of building this team but  he took a handful of oil town girls along with his daughter, Mary Ann, and taught them the game of basketball which was new to their Phillips High School.
Coach Bill Clemmons had coaching in his blood for many years, and took on this enormous task of building a basketball program.  
In two short years, he took his first team to the state tournament in Austin, only losing by one point in the last seconds.  
He had made ball handlers out of his only two seniors, Mona Hendrickson and Mary Ann Clemmons.  
Of course, in 1975 this was half court basketball, with Mary Ann handling the ball on one end and Mona on the other end.  
According to Mona, “My job was to get the ball across the half court line to Jill Rankin, 6’3”, all-state forward.  
But of course, we had to shut down the forwards on our end first.  
This wasn’t too difficult with other guards, Jan Lawson and Barbara Graves.  Once we got the ball up the court, then Mary Ann Clemmons, Tammy Arrington, and Jill Rankin scored the points for the 1974-75 team.  
Mary Ann and Tammy could hit anything outside or even drive up the middle, when they weren’t passing to ‘Power House Post,’ Jill Rankin.”
We can thank our winning strategies to our dedicated Coach Bill Clemmons who never gave up on any of his players.  
At times, we thought we could not run another set of lines, but now 30 years later, we realize he knew exactly what he was doing.  
When it got down to the final plays of the game, guess who was still running hard and not out of breath--the Phillips Lady Hawkettes.  
He taught us the meaning of perseverance, spirit courage, commitment, and especially hope.  
How could a new coach lead a handful of girls in a small oil town to the state tournament two years in a row?  
The first year, in 1975, only losing by one point to George West, and then clenching the state title in 1976 against Bellville.  
Members of the 1975 State Semi-Finalist Team were Mary Ann Clemmons, Jill Rankin, Tammy Arrington, Ronda Hoffman, Mona Hendrickson, Jan Lawson, Barbara Graves, Janet Morris, Sandra Schroeder, Kim Arrington, and Connie Chilton.  
Members of the 1976 State Team were Jill Rankin, Debra Rankin, Kay White, Tammy Arrington, Janet Morris, Sandra Schroeder, Jan Lawson, Barbara Graves, Clandy McClellan, and Kim Arrington.
Yes, Coach Bill Clemmons might have seemed very tough and extreme on the outside, but those of us who really knew him realized that he had such a kind heart and simply wanted the best for his team.  
Indeed the Phillips Lady Blackhawks were a Power House in the 70’s because of one man’s dreams coming true.  He definitely made his mark in this community.  
He was a legend and an inspiration to us all.  
Thanks, Coach Clemmons, for allowing me to be a part of your winning team and teaching me to love the game of basketball.
Love,
Mona Hendrickson Fannon, Class of 1975, All-Region Guard
The Bill Clemmons’ family are asking any one who played on any of his teams to come by Brown’s Funeral Home and sign a special basketball in his memory.
Coaching Record in 1975—29 wins, 7 losses (District IAA Champions, Regional Champions, and State Semi-Finalists) (3 All District, 2 All Regional Tournament, 1 All State)
Coaching Record in 1976—25 wins and 5 losses (District IAA Champions, Regional Champions, and State Champions)(4 All District, 2 All State, 4 All-State Tournament, and Jill Rankin, Outstanding High School  Basketball Player of the Year, and High School All-American).
 

   
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