Few of Masonic Home's legendary Mighty Mites could match the stature of the 6-foot-3 Stages, a four-year letterman (1929-32) who never played a losing game for the Fort Worth school. Stages was an all-state end in 1932, when the Mighty Mites' 13-man roster -- playing their first season in the state's largest classification -- faced powerful Corsicana for the Class A championship. The game turned into a punting duel between Stages and the Tigers' Bob Finley and ended in a 0-0 tie, giving 'The Home' a share of the state title, a miracle finish chronicled by Jim Dent in the best-selling TWELVE MIGHTY ORPHANS. Stages was a three-year starter at Texas A&M (1934-36) before entering the coaching ranks. In a 27-year career with stops at Hull-Daisetta, Gladewater and Corpus Christi Ray, Stages had a 177-78-3 record that included trips to the state semifinals in 1951-52, a finals appearance in '56 and a state championship in 1959, all at Ray. He was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Honor in 1969. Stages died in 1981 at age 67.

W.E. "Bill" Stages

  • 1986

  • Ft. Worth Masonic Home