Big Names Gather For Texas Football Days Event In Waco

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Photo via Gordon DeLoach,

The​ ​Texas​ ​Sports​ ​Hall of Fame ​in​ ​Waco,​ ​Texas​ ​held​ ​the​ ​kickoff​ ​for​ ​Fox​ ​Sports​ ​Southwest ​ ​Texas​ ​Football​ ​Days. Local​ ​sports​ ​radio​ ​shows,​ ​”Unnecessary​ ​Roughness​” ​and​ ​”You​ ​Make​ ​The​ ​Call”​ ​were​ ​live​ ​and​ ​Fox Sports​ ​SW​ ​was​ ​passing​ ​out​ ​shirts​ ​and​ ​hats.​ ​The​ ​event​ ​featured​ ​an​ ​array​ ​of​ ​who’s​ ​who​ ​in​ ​the world​ ​of​ ​Texas​ ​High​ ​School​ ​Football,​ ​including​ ​the​ ​legendary founder of the annual magazine “Dave Campbell’s Texas Football”, Mr.​ ​Dave​ ​Campbell.

The​ ​press​ ​conference​ ​was​ ​held​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Tom​ ​Landry​ ​​ ​room​ ​and​ ​featured​ ​a​ ​panel​ ​of​ ​Texas​ ​Sports HOF​ ​members.​ ​Greg​ ​Tepper​ ​of​ ​Dave​ ​Campbell’s​ ​Texas​ ​Football​ ​Magazine​ ​was​ ​asking questions​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Hall​ ​of​ ​Fame​ ​line​ ​up,​ ​before​ ​letting​ ​the​ ​crowd​ ​ask​ ​questions.​ ​The​ ​panel included​ ​Tracy​ ​Saul,​ ​Quan​ ​Cosby,​ ​D.W.​ ​Rutledge,​ ​Dr.​ ​Charles​ ​Breithaupt,​ ​Ken​ ​Purcell,​ ​Chad Conine,​ ​and​ ​Mr.​ ​Dave​ ​Campbell.

The​ ​questions​ ​flowed​ ​for​ ​about​ ​an​ ​hour​ ​and​ ​the​ ​interaction​ ​between​ ​the​ ​group​ ​of​ ​Hall​ ​of​ ​Fame members​ ​and​ ​the​ ​audience​ ​was​ ​very​ ​engaging.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​serious​ ​conversations​ ​on​ ​the​ ​growth of​ ​High​ ​School​ ​football​ ​in​ ​Texas​ ​and​ ​there​ ​were​ ​moments​ ​of​ ​laughter​ ​with​ ​stories of​ ​old​ ​equipment compared​ ​to​ ​modern​ ​technology.

The​ ​conversation​ ​began​ ​with​ ​a​ ​question​ ​about​ ​the​ ​role​ ​Texas​ ​High​ ​School​ ​football​ ​coaches​ ​play in​ ​the​ ​lives​ ​of​ ​their​ ​players.​ ​D.W.​ ​Rutledge​ ​replied​ ​by​ ​saying​, “In​ ​our​ ​society​ ​today​, we​ ​have​ ​an epidemic​ ​of​ ​fatherless​ ​homes.​ ​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​things​ ​I’m​ ​proud​ ​of​ ​is​ ​that​ ​our​ ​coaches​ ​step​ ​up​ ​and stand​ ​in​ ​the​ ​gap​ ​to​ ​replace​ ​that. ​You​ ​can​ ​ask​ ​around​ ​and​ ​a​ ​vast​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​people​ ​who​ ​have played​ ​sports,​ ​especially​ ​football​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school,​ ​will​ ​tell​ ​you​ ​how​ ​important​ ​the​ ​coach​ ​was​ ​in their​ ​lives.”

Dr.​ ​Breithaupt​, president of the UIL, ​was​ ​asked​ ​about​ ​speaking​ ​to​ ​coaches​ ​in​ ​areas​ ​affected​ ​by​ ​Hurricane​ ​Harvey​ ​and what​ ​they​ ​were​ ​doing​ ​to​ ​help​ ​the​ ​kids.​ ​Dr.​ ​Breithaupt​ ​replied​ ​by​ ​saying, ​

“The​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​these coaches is​ ​to​ ​worry​ ​about​ ​their​ ​kids​ ​and​ ​the​ ​safety​ ​of​ ​their​ ​kids,​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​about​ ​football​ ​right​ ​now.”

Dave​ ​Campbell​ ​spoke​ ​on​ ​how​ ​Texas​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football​ ​can​ ​bypass​ ​barriers​ ​brought​ ​about​ ​in other​ ​factions​ ​of​ ​life​ ​and​ ​unify​ ​communities​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​something​ ​that​ ​can​ ​also correlate​ ​with​ ​Hurricane​ ​Harvey​ ​and​ ​how​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​what​ ​your​ ​personal​ ​beliefs​ ​or​ ​views​ ​might be,​ ​helping​ ​thy​ ​neighbor​ ​is​ ​what’s​ ​most​ ​important.

Quan​ ​Cosby​ ​gave an in ​depth​ description ​of​ ​life​ ​as​ ​a​ ​player​ ​from​ ​a​ ​small​ ​school​ ​compared​ ​to​ ​players​ ​he​ ​met in​ ​college​ ​and​ ​the​ ​NFL​ that weren’t ​from​ ​Texas.​ ​Quan​ ​said​

​“growing up​ ​in​ ​Mart…​ ​nobody’s​ ​perfect,​ ​we​ ​all bleed​ ​red​ ​but​ ​sometimes​ ​we​ ​forget​ ​that.​ ​On​ ​game​ ​days​ ​we​ ​all​ ​bleed​ ​purple​ ​and​ ​even​ ​after moving​ ​to​ ​multiple​ ​states,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​where​ ​I​ ​was​ ​I​ ​made​ ​my​ ​way​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​a​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football game.”

Tracy​ ​Saul​ ​followed​ ​with​ ​his​ ​experience​ ​growing​ ​up​ ​in​ ​the​ ​small​ ​West​ ​Texas​ ​town​ ​of​ ​Idalou. Tracy​ ​spoke​ ​on​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​community​ ​and​ ​how​

​“The​ ​community​ ​expects​ ​so​ ​much​ ​out​ ​of the​ ​kids​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​not necessarily just​ ​to​ ​win​ ​on​ ​Friday​ ​nights,​ ​but​ ​to​ ​act​ ​the​ ​right​ ​way​ ​and​ ​do​ ​the​ ​right things.”

Ken​ ​Purcell​ ​discussed​ ​how​ ​playing​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football​ ​helps​ ​kids​ ​build​ ​their​ ​character.​ ​Coach Purcell​ ​explained​ ,

“There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​difference​ ​between​ ​teaching​ ​kids​ ​X’s​ ​and​ ​O’s​ ​and​ ​loving​ ​kids.​ ​We taught​ ​things​ ​like​ ​discipline,​ ​pride,​ ​poise,​ ​class,​ ​accountability​ ​and​ ​decision​ ​making​ ​skills.”

Chad​ ​Conine​ ​spoke​ ​about​ ​the​ ​growth​ ​of​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football​ ​in​ ​the​ ​state​ ​of​ ​Texas​ ​and​ ​if​ ​there could​ ​possibly​ ​be​ ​any​ ​negative​ ​impact​ ​on​ ​the​ ​quality​ ​of​ ​the​ ​game.​ ​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ongoing​ ​issues football​ ​faces​ ​is​ ​concussions​ ​and​ ​players​ ​finding​ ​other​ ​sports​ ​to​ ​play​ ​to​ ​avoid​ ​them.​ ​

Conine​ ​said,

“There​ ​are​ ​probably​ ​parents​ ​out​ ​there​ ​that​ ​don’t​ ​want​ ​their​ ​kids​ ​to​ ​play​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football because​ ​of​ ​the​ ​issues​ ​that​ ​have​ ​come​ ​up.​ ​The​ ​game​ ​continues​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​because​ ​kids​ ​fall​ ​in​ ​love with​ ​it​ ​at​ ​an​ ​early​ ​age​ ​and​ ​they​ ​want​ ​to​ ​play.”​ ​He​ ​went​ ​on​ ​to​ ​explain​ ​how​ ​coaches​ ​have improved​ ​their​ ​technical​ ​skills​ ​with​ ​proper​ ​tackling​ ​and​ ​concussion​ ​awareness,​ ​where​ ​the​ ​game was​ ​lacking​ ​in​ ​the​ ​past.

Once​ ​the​ ​floor​ ​was​ ​open​ ​for​ ​questions​ ​​ ​asked​, W​​ith​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​talk​ ​on expansion​ ​and​ ​growth​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football,​ ​has​ ​a​ ​plan​ ​been​ ​put​ ​in​ ​place​ ​to​ ​address​ ​the referee​ ​shortage?​ ​​

This​ ​question​ ​was​ ​addressed​ ​by​ ​Dr.​ ​Breithaupt​ ​who​ ​said​,

“That’s​ ​a​ good ​question, because​ ​we​ ​have​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​high​ ​school​ ​football​ ​in​ ​the​ ​country​ ​and​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​high​ ​school coaches​ ​in​ ​the​ ​country,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​officiating.​ ​We​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​a​ ​shortage​ ​on Friday​ ​nights​ ​for​ ​the​ ​big​ ​games,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​do​ ​for​ ​the​ ​small​ ​games.​ ​You​ ​have​ ​some​ ​chapters​ ​that will​ ​assign​ ​6​ ​or​ ​7​ ​man​ ​crews​ ​to​ ​their​ ​6A​ ​or​ ​5A​ ​games​ ​and​ ​it​ ​leaves​ ​nobody​ ​for​ ​the​ ​smaller games,​ ​so​ ​that’s​ ​an​ ​issue​ ​we​ ​have​ ​to​ ​face.​ ​The​ ​main​ ​shortage​ ​is​ ​on​ ​Thursday​ ​nights​ ​for​ ​junior high​ ​or​ ​JV​ ​games​ ​because​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​those​ ​guys​ ​don’t​ ​want​ ​to​ ​call​ ​them.​ ​We​ ​believe​ ​it’s​ ​important for​ ​our​ ​schools​ ​to​ ​really​ ​work​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​recruit​ ​their​ ​former​ ​players,​ ​because​ ​those​ ​are​ ​the​ ​guys that​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​the​ ​game​ ​because​ ​they​ ​know​ ​and​ ​understand​ ​the​ ​game.”


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