Written by: Shane Warren, Publisher
Texas is probably the world’s capital of why high school football is king in Texas . In fact, the sport is so popular that in the small town of Decatur, Halloween had to be moved by a day so that it does not interfere with the final game of the season. High school football is so important in the small towns of Texas that you will always find the entire population of these towns cheering at a stadium on any given Friday night in fall. Some popular high school football TV shows and movies like “Varsity Blues” and “Friday Night Lights” are based on this sport. So, what makes high school football in Texas so special?
The high school football players and fans in Texas are so passionate about this sport that they are not shy about it. Although this Lone Star State is known for its harsh weather conditions, fans always pack the stadiums to cheer on their favorite teams whether its raining or shining. Here the game is much more than just a sport, it is a culture that is passed on to generations. The passion that people have for this sport in Texas is as big as the state itself. On every Friday night, you will find every member of the community in Texas cheering on their high school teams. Players play for the love of this game, there are no scholarships or checks. There are no crazy fees or gambling, everyone comes to watch the game because of the love and passion. The passion alone is why high school football is king in Texas!
Another reason of why high school football is king in Texas are the stadiums. Even the smaller stadiums at some Texas high school stadiums are equipped with high-definition scoreboards that one might think are reserved for professional sports. Texas is actually home to some of the best and largest high school football stadiums in the United States that are both gigantic and historical. For instance, the new San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium has a seating capacity of 23,000 fans while in Allen, you will find the Eagle Stadium which was built in two years at a cost of $60 million. The Katy Legacy Stadium in Houston that has a seating capacity of 12,000 fans is one of the most expensive stadiums with a $72.1 million price tag.
In Texas, every high school football team has a fierce rival. One of the longest-running high school football rivalries is between Bay City and El Campo that dates back to 1911. When it comes to this sport, these two schools left everything on the field. However, in the all-time series, El Campo holds the lead by 58-40-7. Despite the up and down rankings over the years or even the change of districts, none of it matters when these two sides meet on the field. In other towns like in East Texas, there are rivalries that have lasted as long as a century. For instance, Marshall and Longview have a rivalry that began in 1909 but recently during their 107th meeting, Longview managed to defeat Marshall by 41-7.
There are several other iconic matchups that can be found across Texas. The people of Texas do not take these rivalries lightly. Some people have been fired over these rivalries while stop signs have been changed from red to black to avoid matching colors with opponents. Others may not speak to each other especially if they are from opposing teams. It’s that serious! The rivalries may be intense but they are so much fun.
In Texas, fall Friday nights are meant for one thing only and that is high school football. The games are a community event where almost all members of the community come together despite their varying religions, political views, economic backgrounds and race. This sport is for family and friends where kids can run around while eating a snack and adults can have polite conversations in or around the stands. You will also find little girls and boys on the sidelines having fun during a game. Your local pastor, kids teacher, grocery store worker and mechanic are all present in the stands. The small towns of Texas come to a standstill every Friday night as people watch this sport that touches many lives.
Why high school football is king in Texas even years after leaving High school, people still identify with their high school football teams by referring to them as “our team”. This is the team spirit that makes the people of Texas still experience the excitement even when thinking about the game.