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Answer Line: A great story about friends, a dog and the Lobos

Oct. 27, 2017 at 11:27 p.m.


QUESTION: OK, so I'm pretty stinkin' excited to have this follow-up to a question I couldn't answer before: How did the Longview Lobos get their name?

ANSWER: I have a couple of versions of this tale, with some minor variations, but at the root of the story is a young man and his dog. (I hope that makes your heart melt as much as it does mine.)

So first, Carol Pliler Molina told me a story she said she first told the News-Journal's original Answer Line columnist Mike Hvezdos, a great journalist and my friend. Mike died in 2003. I'm kind of ashamed I didn't remember him writing about this Aug. 22, 2001, in response to this very same question, from a reader who said the team had been called the Demons in a 1913 yearbook and wondered when the name had changed. (Answer line note: I actually looked at a copy of that yearbook, which is being well cared for by the nice folks at the Longview Public Library. While there was a football team with lots of coverage in the yearbook, there didn't seem to be any team name mentioned, just that the team captain wore a black velvet ribbon the players thought brought them good luck and that they considered their mascot. There was, however, a girls basketball team called the Demons, while there was a boys basketball team named the "Black Cats.")

In August 2001, Answer Line reported that a reader had said the football team chose its enduring name in 1924 when Coach C.N. Wilkinson came to Longview. In that same column Carol Molina shared a story her father, Wiley Pliler, told her about how the Lobo name was selected. The story involved a friend of her father's, Emory Boring, whom she said was nicknamed "Skibo." She shared that story with me:

"(Wiley Pliler) played football under Coach Wilkerson at LHS and graduated in 1929. They practiced at the old high school, which later became Foster Junior High, on South Green Street. His friend and teammate, Emory Boring, nicknamed Skibo, lived on Boring Street across from the practice field. Skibo had a big dog named Lobo that came across the street to practice with the team. Coach Wilkerson said the school board wanted a mascot name for the team. The team chose to be Lobos in honor of their four-legged friend. They also chose the team colors, green and white ... no gold back then!"

About the same time Molina contacted me, a friend told me that Emory Boring's widow, Margaret Boring, and one of their sons, Joe Boring, still live in that house where Emory Boring lived when he had that dog. (The street name is different now, though.)

Joe Boring told me his father was called "Skeebo" (a little different spelling), probably because someone thought it meant "Little Bo," to distinguish Emory Boring from his father.

Joe Boring said his father's dog was a German shepherd named "Wolf."

"Dogs ran loose back then," Joe Boring said, and so the dog went to practices all the time. Somehow, when the team was deciding on a name, the connection was made between "Wolf" and "Lobo." Boring wasn't sure how.

"He used to talk about the dog. It was his dog when he was a teenager," Boring said of his father.

Also, he said Coach Wilkerson taught geometry at the high school. He wasn't Boring's teacher, but he did teach Boring's brother, Emory III.

"Mr. Wilkerson used to tell the story all the time," Boring said.

So, the recollections we have contain a couple of variations. But, in the end, we have what sounds like a group of young men who named their team after a faithful dog. (That's a great story, isn't it?)

Q: A large amount of land is being cleared at the southeast corner of U.S. 271 and Interstate 20. The amount of land being cleared is definitely going to be for something large. I am wondering if Buc-ees is putting one of their stores at that location.

A: That is actually going to be a CEFCO, a company that builds some pretty nice gas stations itself. I'm sorry I don't have more details than that, but I couldn't get folks at company headquarters to call me back.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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