It seemed like a great idea right after the turn of the century. Dallas Jesuit and Houston Strake Jesuit, two mammoth all-boys Catholic schools that stood front and center of the private school football world in Texas, made the leap to play with the biggest boys of the UIL.
Though both Jesuit schools typically played several UIL schools in non-league play, in 2004 the UIL accepted both schools and, since then, they’ve duked it out with some tough suburb districts.
But prior to 2000, they shared a rather large district with Beaumont Kelly and El Paso Cathedral and once Houston St. Thomas. Dallas Jesuit won 20 TCIL state championships while Strake won five. The Jesuit teams played as independents from 2000-03 before jumping into 5A districts, which was the largest classification at the time.
Dallas Jesuit made the playoffs the first year with a 6-1 record in 10-5A, with its only loss to Richardson Pearce. The Rangers went two rounds deep, losing to Longview. The Rangers have made the playoffs 10-of-13 seasons, including at least a second round trip each of the last five years — three of them in Class 6A.
Strake Jesuit, on the other hand, has made the playoffs just four times in those same 13 years. The Crusaders had a first round exit in their first three playoff appearances (2005, 2007, 2008) before going three rounds deep in 2015.
The biggest difference in the two teams’ playoff journeys could go back to district alignments. Strake has typically been placed in a district with Katy ISD schools, which are very big and traditionally good at football. Dallas Jesuit has mostly drawn the Carrollton or Richardson ISDs with the occasional Dallas W.T. White and Skyline sprinkled in.
The teams have played each other six times since joining the UIL, with Dallas Jesuit sweeping all six. Dallas Jesuit holds leads the all-time series 20-10. The two teams didn’t play last year nor will they this year.
Once again, Dallas Jesuit looks to be in good shape to make another playoff run. The Rangers play a who’s who of Texas football in non-district with DeSoto, Plano East and Lake Travis before opening District 9-6A against Coppell. They should be battle-tested for the final six games.
Strake will have a tough road with an easier non-district schedule (Montgomery, St. Thomas, Galveston Ball) before walking through the fires of Katy schools (Katy, Cinco Ranch, Katy Taylor and Morton Ranch).
Brought to you by: