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LA MARQUE — La Marque has a chance to join an elite club and solidify its football tradition as one of the best in Texas.

A win Friday over No. 1 Aledo in the state championship (8 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington) would give the Cougars their sixth state title. Only 11 other teams in the state’s 90-year history of awarding championships have accomplished the feat.

“A win would definitely bring La Marque in the discussion as one of the top programs in the state,” Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Managing Editor Travis Stewart said. “They would be in that small group who might be able to claim they’re the best.”

It’s always difficult to compare the greats. Do championships matter the most? What about winning percentage, strength of opponent and classification?

The task gets even harder over when looking at different eras. Rules, athletes, the game, resources and competition levels change so much.

Still, La Marque’s pedigree stands by itself. It trumps the test of time. Once glance at some the achievements shows why.

Friday night will mark the 10th state championship appearance for the Cougars. Only two programs — Converse Judson and Odessa Permian — have more. From 1993-98, La Marque went to five straight title games, a feat accomplished by just two others — Southlake Carroll and Fort Hancock.

Since 1989, La Marque has missed the postseason just twice. The Cougars are a whopping 10-0 in state semifinal games.

“It seems like they’re always good, so I think La Marque is definitely up there,” said Friendswood coach Steve Van Meter, who has been to three straight region finals. “If you were going to win in Houston in 4A, you had to go through La Marque. And now, they’re back.”

Yet the Cougars really need that sixth state title to cement their place among the pantheon of great teams. Five includes too many schools.

Six provides separation, the seal on the invitation to the best. The extra hand needed for a ring would give them a state championship in three different decades.

And all of them have come since 1993. Of the 11 teams to win six, only four have captured two since 1990, often considered the beginning of the most competitive era in football.

“To have your footprint in three different decades that are considered the most competitive for high school football is really impressive,” Stewart said. “A sixth title would ensure La Marque belongs in the best. And no one could tell them otherwise.”