Five Big Things in #txhsfb: 09/15/16 by Chris Doelle
Updated: September 15, 2016
Five Big Things in Texas High School Football
It's that time again… time for my Five BIG Things! These are the things that stood out for me recently as it relates to Texas high school football. As usual, they are not listed in order of importance – just as they come to me. And yes, I know another site recently added their "5 things" but as with just about everything cool surrounding "the greatest sport in the greatest state" ™ we did it here first and best!
Here are some things that stood out for me...
1. The Sky is Falling! - Katy and Canadian are both sitting at 1-2 and some of their fans are concerned that the two (32-0 combined last season) has lost too much to compete in Title Town this year.
Don't be too quick to jump off those bandwagons. Both teams have played some seriously talented teams and each one had a close loss in a rivalry game as well. (Katy to The Woodlands, Canadian to Perryton.) District play is the first time that games actually matter and you can bet your bippy that both squads will be fine and playing late into the playoffs.
2. East Texas Power Outage? – Navasota (#35 4A DI) is sitting at 0-3 and casual fans of the Rattlers are concerned. They lost long-time Head Coach and 2-time State Champion Lee Fedora (resigned 11 years 109-30) during the offseason and the Patrick Goodman era began.
The team returned 11 starters (5 offense, 6 defense) from a 12-1 season so we had them picked as the preseason #6 team. We figured they would win district and have another deep playoff run. And you know what? That is still very likely!
Their losses have been to one of the absolute strongest teams in 3A DI - Franklin and two Class 5A teams. They still have tough games against #6 4A DI Stafford (3-0) and 5A Bryan remaining before district. The power is not out, just flickering a bit. Expect the Rattlers to pick up speed in district and peak a couple weeks into postseason play.
3. Rivalries Take Center Stage – One of thee things I love about pre-district play is the abundance of rivalry games. Sure, you also get the marquee matchups (Austin Westlake vs Katy, Cibolo Steele vs Austin Lake Travis) but many teams have to schedule their biggest rivals before district play because so many teams move up and down in classification.
#12 6A Katy at #59 6A Katy Cinco Ranch
#6 5A Frisco Lone Star at #3 5A Denton Ryan
#64 6A North Mesquite at #176 6A Mesquite
#4 4A DII Gilmer at #5 4A DI Carthage
#27 4A DI Canyon Lake at #21 4A DII Wimberley
and the grandaddy of them all...
#11 4A DI El Campo at #13 4A DII Wharton
One of the beautiful things about rivalry games is that records don't matter, classifications don't matter. It is one of the purest displays of everything that is great about Texas high school football. If you don't take in at least one rivalry game this season, you are missing out.
4. Coach Father & QB Son is Tried and True - Yes, many of you may have seen the Robinson Rockets (3-0) making noise and ripping through opponents. What you may not have noticed is that it is another great example of the Father/Son-HC/QB combo that seems to work so well in Texas high school football. Yes, Chase Allison is the starting QB for Robinson and he is putting up phenomenal numbers. What you may not have noticed is that Head Coach Tommy Allison has the same last name. Yes, Coach Allison is coaching his son and the results speak volumes.
It is a tried and true refrain that often ends in not only magical seasons, but sometimes state championships.
FYI, The Woodlands who just downed Katy has the same type of father/son duo in Coach Mark Schmid and QB Eric Schmid.
5. Victoria East is more than Bailey Zappe - If you're hearing some buzz out of Victoria, Texas this season it is likely surrounding the stellar passing of QB Bailey Zappe. Don't get me wrong - this kid is the real deal as he is one of only 9 QBs in the state with more than 1,000 yards passing already this season. But, if you dig a bit deeper, you will see there is much more to the Titans than just his talent.
I talked with Head Coach Roland Gonzalez to try to get a bit deeper on his squad.
"Offensively, Tre Wolf and Malik Stoval are have had exceptional starts at receiver along with our Chance McLeod who has been a great asset as a TE/receiver. Defensively, Andrew Taylor is making a statement as a defensive lineman as is Jonathon Mejia at linebacker and Jonathon Whitby as a free safety/running back, " he told me when I asked about the rest of the team.
Coach Gonzalez went further to say, "...we have gotten our feet wet with good competition and the players are rising to the level of competition we are and will face."
When asked about that competition, Coach Gonzales added, "We are in a very competitive district and all will be tough, but Foster and Angleton seem to be lighting things up right now."
One thing is sure... there is some excellent football being played down the Crossroads.
by Chris Doelle