1988 Carter Cowboys Where Are They Now?

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The 1988 Carter Cowboys are etched in high school football lore as one of the most talented and controversial teams in history. Hailing from David W. Carter High School in Dallas, Texas, the team’s journey to the state championship was chronicled with immense talent on the field and legal battles off it. This article delves into the lives of the key players from that legendary team and where they are now.

The Legacy of the 1988 Carter Cowboys

The 1988 Carter Cowboys are remembered for their extraordinary talent and the state championship they won. However, their legacy is also marred by the scandal that followed, involving allegations of grade tampering and a high-profile robbery case that involved several team members. Despite the controversies, the team’s on-field performance remains a high point in Texas high school football history.

Where Are They Now: The 1988 Carter Cowboys

Over three decades later, the members of the 1988 Carter Cowboys have taken diverse paths in life. Some have found success in various fields, while others have faced significant challenges. Here’s a look at where some of the key players are now.

Coach Freddie James

Freddie James, the head coach of the 1988 team, retired from coaching in 1995. He remains a respected figure in the Dallas community and often speaks about his experiences leading the Carter Cowboys to victory.

Derric Evans

Derric Evans, a standout cornerback, faced legal troubles after the championship season but has since turned his life around. He has worked to mentor young athletes and steer them away from the mistakes he made.

Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards, another player involved in the robbery case, also struggled with the law post-high school. His current whereabouts and activities are less publicized, reflecting a more private life after his football days.

LeShai Maston

LeShai Maston went on to play football at Baylor University and had a stint in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After retiring from football, he has been involved in various business ventures.

Robert Hall

Robert Hall, the quarterback of the team, had a college career at Texas Tech University. He later played in the Canadian Football League before transitioning into coaching and personal training.

Clifton Odom

Clifton Odom, a member of the defense, pursued a career in law enforcement after his football days and has served as a police officer in the Dallas area.

Jessie Armstead

Perhaps the most successful NFL player from the team, Jessie Armstead had a distinguished career with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Post-retirement, he has been involved in the automotive industry and owns several dealerships.

Life After Football: Education and Careers

Many members of the 1988 Carter Cowboys went on to pursue higher education and various careers outside of football. Their paths highlight the diverse opportunities that can follow a high school sports career.

Education and Degrees

Several players used their athletic scholarships to attend college, earning degrees in fields ranging from business to criminal justice. These educational opportunities set the stage for their future careers.

Non-Football Careers

For those who did not continue in football, careers have been as varied as their talents on the field. From business owners to educators, the former players have made their marks in different sectors.

Community Involvement and Mentorship

Recognizing the impact of their experiences, some members of the 1988 Carter Cowboys have dedicated themselves to giving back to their communities through coaching, mentorship, and motivational speaking.

Coaching and Mentoring

Several former players have taken up coaching roles at high schools and colleges, using their knowledge to guide the next generation of athletes.

Motivational Speaking

Drawing from their unique experiences, some have become motivational speakers, sharing their stories of triumph and adversity with audiences across the country.

Not all stories of the 1988 Carter Cowboys have happy endings. Some members have faced significant legal challenges that have affected their lives long after their high school glory days.

The robbery case that involved six players from the team had long-lasting repercussions, with prison sentences altering the courses of their lives.

Life After Incarceration

For those who served time, reintegration into society posed its own set of challenges. However, some have used their experiences to help others avoid similar pitfalls.

Remembering the 1988 Carter Cowboys

The story of the 1988 Carter Cowboys remains a powerful narrative in Texas sports history. Documentaries and films have been produced to capture the drama and excitement of their championship season and its aftermath.

Documentaries and Films

The ESPN documentary “30 for 30: What Carter Lost” and the film “Friday Night Lights” have both contributed to the legacy of the 1988 Carter Cowboys, ensuring their story continues to be told.

Reunions and Events

Occasional team reunions have provided opportunities for former players to reconnect and reflect on their shared experiences from over 30 years ago.

FAQ Section

  • What was the controversy surrounding the 1988 Carter Cowboys?
    The team faced allegations of grade tampering and several players were involved in a high-profile robbery case.
  • Did any players from the 1988 Carter Cowboys play in the NFL?
    Yes, Jessie Armstead had a successful NFL career, and LeShai Maston also played in the league.
  • Has the story of the 1988 Carter Cowboys been featured in any documentaries?
    Yes, the ESPN “30 for 30” series covered their story in “What Carter Lost.”
  • What impact did the legal issues have on the players involved?
    The legal issues led to prison sentences for some and affected their post-high school lives significantly.
  • Are any former 1988 Carter Cowboys involved in football today?
    Yes, some have pursued careers in coaching and personal training.


The 1988 Carter Cowboys’ story is one of talent, triumph, and tragedy. Their journey from high school champions to the various paths they’ve taken in life reflects the complexities of sports, education, and personal growth. While some have found success in their post-football lives, others have faced challenges that serve as cautionary tales. Their legacy, however, remains a significant chapter in the annals of high school football history, and their individual stories continue to inspire and instruct future generations.

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