Name Game: Jack Crain Stadium

Name Game: Jack Crain Stadium

Several athletic fields and gyms in our area are named after someone with a special connection to the facility or the community.
Several athletic fields and gyms in our area are named after someone with a special connection to the facility or the community.

But how did those facilities get their name? We take a look at the people behind the names. Its called the Name Game.

First up, we head to Nocona where Jermaine Ferrell takes a look at the Nocona High School football stadium otherwise know as Jack Crain Stadium. Jack Crain "The Jackrabbitt" did a lot of things for the community. Once you peel back the layers he did a lot of amazing things.

Rob Storey, Executive V.P. Nokona:"People are really amazed at just how small he was in stature. He was a very short person about 5-7. As far as his talent, he was larger than life."

That larger than life talent began when Crain played high school football for the Indians graduating in 1938. And being tabbed "The Jackrabbit" due to his quickness on the field.

He set school rushing and scoring records still standing today.

In the 1938 Oil Bowl, Crain got the MVP award after he scored the game winning touchdown with 2 minutes left in the game.

He was inducted into the Oil Bowl hall of fame in 1994.

Highly recruited across the region, Crain decided to go to the University of Texas where his college coach Dana Bible credits Crain for resurrecting a struggling Longhorns program. Crain was a two time All American in 1940 and 1941. He still holds a few school records. After Crain graduated from college he joined the U.S. Navy as an officer in World War II.

Following the war, he returned to Nocona, where he lived for the rest of his life.

In 1960, Crain was elected to the first of three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.

Storey:"I think Jack got into it because he wanted to do some good and he got down there and did what he needed to. He didn't want to become a career politician like we have nowadays he wanted to do his part just like he served in the military during the war. Then he came back home to Nocona to give what he could to this community.

In 1978, his wife, Jean Crain, was killed when a building in downtown Nocona collapsed from a heavy accumulation of snow. This event provided the push for Crain to found a church called Jean's Men's Bible Class.

This nondenominational church, named after his wife, is still active today.

As we get into the 1980's the Nocona community wanted to do something special for "The Jackrabbit."

Storey:"A number of people as Jack got up in age that we had to do something to recognize him and we thought about a downtown street but really the most appropriate place was the high school football field where he set so many records.

On August 18, 1986, the Nocona school board unanimously voted to rename high school stadium.

From that day until his death in 1994, "The Jackrabbit" watch the Indians play at Jack Crain Stadium.

Nocona head coach and former Indian player Brad Keck has developed a special tradition for his players to honor Nocona's most famous alum.

Brad Keck, Nocona Head Football Coach & A.D.: "As the players run out to the field. The line up single file, they all touch the statue of Jack Crain as they go by and what we try to do and establish is when you walk on that field you might not have the same ability that Jack Crain has. But you can play with the same heart and the same pride that he played with. Play to the best of your ability just like he played to the best of his ability. Don't dishonor his memory and dishonor his stadium by playing any less than that."


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