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Welcome to Mascot Melee! In each corner of the ring are Texas High School Football mascots revved up and ready to brawl for the playoff title belt. Who will be KO’ed? And which school will remain standing — costume gloves raised in triumph over their rival.

Let’s examine the tale of the tape:


Aledo Bearcats v. Mesquite Poteet Pirates


Upon the lawless vast surface of the ocean, sea raiders pillaged and plundered their way into the imaginations of our current pop culture landscape. Rides at amusement parks; a franchise starring Johnny Depp; cosplayers annoying people with terrible impersonations. A piracy can occur anywhere, but we prefer the maritime definition – their physical appearance and mannerisms capturing the global imagination.

Most pirates didn’t submit to imprisonment, and were often killed instead of being taken – which probably isn’t the extreme that high school athletes are going for, but it’s a fitting tribute to the eye-patched crew.

A bearcat is an animal that is the result of anthropologists’ indecision – a group couldn’t choose one animal name over the other. Apparently, it’s not related to either critter, so who knows what’s going on with this fella. The bearcat’s other name is a binturog, which sounds similar to a fierce Lord of the Rings character, but probably can’t be used outside of the realms of a D&D game with your buddies hurling a five-sided die.

Side note: a bearcat is probably the ugliest critter in the animal kingdom, as seen above.

Mascot advantage: Pirates


The Bearcats have scored over 40 points every game this season, posting an undefeated record and averaging a whopping 58.6 points per game – 821 total. The defense is holding up their end of the field, allowing 18.3 ppg. Poteet has totaled a little over half of Aledo’s point total, and allowed over forty points once this year. Barring an unexpected defeat, I’m definitely predicting a Bearcat blowout.

Matchup advantage: Aledo



Denton Ryan Raiders v. Highland Park Scots


The Scots are a group of people from Scotland that somehow got lost in Edinburgh and ended up on a Texas football field. America has the largest population of Scottish descendants, and the Scots are renowned for making golf and curling a global sport. Their football is competed with their feet, not their hands, so the mascot name is nonsensical in the particular instance. The Raiders are a team in Oakland, anticipating a relocation to Las Vegas – pillaging the wallets of untapped ground in Sin City. The team also has the creepiest family of owners the world has ever seen. Mark Davis’s bowl cut looks like that of Anton Chigurh.

Mascot advantage: Braveheart


Denton Ryan leads the all-time series 2-1 and doesn’t have a blemish on the season. Highland Park has the slight edge on defense, allowing 13.5 points per game in comparison to 16.1 ppg. The Raiders offense is fronted by dual threat Spencer Sanders – a 4-star OSU commit – and have averaged 40 points per game.

Matchup advantage: Denton Ryan



Atascocita Eagles v. Lake Travis Cavaliers


The Eagles are one of the most successful bands of all time, and a common cover band that even our CEO Brian DeMarco sang in during his stay at Jacksonville. Hotel California was this writer’s first album at the tender age of five years old. The group has sold 150 million records worldwide, and had a drummer in Don Henley who would sing lead vocals behind the kit – an action that looks unnatural, but somehow worked for the aesthetic of the group.

As an adjective, cavalier functions as being indifferent or uncaring, like the Cavaliers were cavalier about the opponents feelings after beating the snot out of them. As a noun, the word describes the bandwagon franchise of the NBA – a team that you used to be able to find jerseys deep within bargain bins at local sports shops, but are now at premium prices because of the return of LeBron.

Another example of the word in a sentence: Michael Jordan feels cavalier towards the Cavalier, since he will never ascend the realms of His Airness’ greatness.

I’ll take the feel good hits of “Take it Easy” and “New Kid in Town” over the star of the destined-to-fail Space Jam 2.

Mascot advantage: RIP Glenn Frey


Since the Cavs lost a close one Week one to Judson, Lake Travis has been unstoppable, posting over 49 points 11 times this year. Atascocita avenged their sole loss against North Shore in the postseason, and limited opponents to 9.6 points during the regular season. However, that number has jumped to 21 points per game in the playoffs.

Atascocita was a pleasant surprise to the semis, but expect that high-octane Lake Travis offense to pillage until the championship game.

Advantage: Lake Travis



Cinco Ranch Cougars v. Steele Knights


A cougar is the Puff Daddy of the Felinae family, and is commonly known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, or catamount. The solitary cat is also the mascot of the University of Houston — a college team betrayed by coach Tom Herman for a fatter paycheck in Austin.

I’ll take the cougar over…

The knight, which is essentially a samurai – an individual in armor serving a lord or sovereign. The adventures compose the fabric of every English Lit professor’s best dreams, and they frequently betray each other on HBO programs.

Mascot advantage: Cougars


Two stellar defenses will take each other on during the eve of the state championship. The Knights have allowed one postseason touchdown, behind talented safety and LSU commit Caden Sterns. The Cougars forced four turnovers in the quarterfinals against and limited 197 yards against Cy Ridge.

The match may be determined by experience: the semifinal berth marks Cinco Ranch’s second trip to the Final Four in school history; Steele has gotten this far seven consecutive seasons.

Advantage: Steele

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