William B. Travis High School (Austin, Texas)

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Not to be confused with William B. Travis High School (Fort Bend County, Texas).
William B. Travis High School
1211 E. Oltorf St. Austin, Texas, 78704
Coordinates 30°14′01″N 97°44′38″W / 30.23368°N 97.744°W / 30.23368; -97.744Coordinates: 30°14′01″N 97°44′38″W / 30.23368°N 97.744°W / 30.23368; -97.744
Motto "Committed to Excellence"
Established 1953
School district Austin Independent School District
School number 512-414-2527
Principal Ty Davidson
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,450
Color(s) Red & Grey
Mascot Rebel
Team name The Rebels, Runnin' Rebs, Lady Rebs

William B. Travis High School is a high school located in south Austin, Texas, which is part of the Austin Independent School District. It was opened in 1953 and is named after William B. Travis, who was one of the commanding officers at the Battle of the Alamo. It is the oldest high school in Austin, south of the Colorado River.

As of November 2009, there were over 1,400 students enrolled. Travis' athletic teams are known as the Rebels, and their school colors are red and grey. The Navy JROTC program at THS is the largest ROTC program in Austin and currently has the best shooting team out of all the JROTC units in the state of Texas. As of February 2015, the JROTC program, for the first time, has qualified for state competition under the command of C/LCDR Martinez, the commanding officer. The school has also been selected as a mentor school by the Texas Education Agency.

In 2002, an Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts was opened at Travis.[1]


In 1956 the first five African-American students began attending Travis as part of desegregation; a total of 13 black students attended white high schools in AISD at that time.[2]


Travis' biggest rivalry is with fellow AISD school McCallum. The two schools meet annually in many different sports, the largest being an annual football game known as the "Battle of the Bell", in which the winning school is given possession of a 50-pound locomotive bell that has been fought over for decades.[3] During the game, "The Bell" will spend the first half on the defending school's side; at half time it will travel to the opponent's side (usually carried by the cheerleaders, student council, or journalism departments of both schools) where it will sit until the outcome of the game. "The Bell" is usually rung by the winning team in the middle of the field after victory, and at the winning team's school until midnight, at which time it will be stored until the next year's game. The winning school also engraves the date and score of the year's game on the bell, keeping track of the history of the rivalry. Most years, the outcome of this game highly affects which team is named District 26-4A Champions.

In 2010, the Rebels defeated the McCallum Knights for the first time in over a decade. "The Bell" was awarded to Travis, who defended it for the first time in 11 years at the 2011 game.

Another Travis rival is the AISD school David Crockett High School, a game in which the winner is tagged "Kings of the South".

Travis High in Popular Media[edit]

Travis High School has been featured in two full-length motion pictures. Its hallways were featured in the 2004 football drama Friday Night Lights. Also, the THS Band annually participates in the filming of the NBC TV series based on the movie, participating as extras and featured as the visiting team band at football games (See Friday Night Lights (TV Series)). The school was also the main setting in the 2006 comedy-mockumentary Chalk. Its football field was featured in High School Musical. It has also been featured in several documentaries.

Navy JROTC[edit]

The Navy JROTC program as of 2015 is instructed by retired Navy Commander Heyward and retired Navy Chief Thomas. The JROTC program has been teaching responsibility and self-discipline in which it reaches out to freshman through seniors. The program abides by the actual Navy's core values of honor, courage, and commitment.

Notable alumni[edit]

Psychedelic-rock cult legend Roky Erickson attended Travis High School beginning in 1962, but dropped out in 1965, one month before graduating, rather than cut his hair to conform to the school dress code.[4][5]

Powderburn drummer Joel Reyes attended Travis High School beginning in 1991 and graduated in 1995. Reyes was a first-chair member of the drum line as well as an editor and photographer for the school newspaper and yearbook. Powderburn has earned numerous Austin Music Awards for "best metal band" (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006) and won "MP3 of the Year" in 2002.[6]They were also featured on the farmclub.com TV show hosted by Matt Pinfield back in the early 2000s. Powderburn continues to perform mainly in the Austin and Houston area markets.


  1. ^ Pack, MM (11 October 2002). "A Shared Vision: Combining generosity and hard work to build the Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts at Travis High School". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Five Decades of Social Change: A Timeline." Austin Public Library. Retrieved on June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Davis, Danny (October 16, 2013). "McCallum, Travis square off for right to ring Victory Bell". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The fall and rise of Roky Erickson. Austin American-Statesman, July 12, 2007. p 13 (Xlent section).
  5. ^ Drummond, Paul (2007). Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, the Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound. Feral House. pp. 60, 67–68. ISBN 9780976082262. 
  6. ^ [1] Austin Music Awards Search

External links[edit]