The story of how this led to the most outstanding team in Texas football history began as federalized National Guard troops moved toward the Mexican border during the Mexican Revolution prior to WWI, Mayor Roy Miller lobbied to attract a training camp to Corpus Christi. He knew it would benefit the local economy, which had suffered during a drought.
In the summer of 1916, about 3,500 men of the Second and Third Infantry Regiments were ordered to Corpus Christi. In just a few days, the city readied the camp, located near today’s Cole Park and Spohn Shoreline. Within a week, it was equipped with running water, electricity and the service of the city’s streetcar line, as well as tents to house thousands and mess halls to feed them.
Soldiers’ time was dedicated to training to keep their skills sharp, but they also found time for fun. One of their pastimes was competing against other soldiers at football. Many former college stars were stationed together at Corpus Christi, and their scores against other units established them as the best: The 2nd Texas outscored its opponents 432 to 6 in seven games.
As the threat of conflict with Mexico faded, the camp slowed down for several months before being reactivated with the entrance of the U.S. into WWI. Then, Camp Scurry became a training ground for trench warfare and other exercises to prepare for war in Europe. While sports continued as a source of entertainment, no team ever outshone the 1916-17 2nd Texas Infantry football team.