The obsession with football is contagious and spreads all throughout the United States, with Texas being at the heart of it all. Home to a pantheon of greats – Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, Darryl Morris, and Jeremy Kerley are just a few examples of what The Lone Star State has to offer. Texas football represents the upper echelon of student athletes in America, with numerous players out of Texas having a Super Bowl win under their belt. Texas football’s high-intensity programs foster ambitious players and cutthroat competition. This ultra-competitive gridiron circuit is home to bitter, cross-town rivalries that often divide communities and pit families against one another. First and foremost among these rivalries is the Westlake Chaparrals vs. the Lake Travis Cavaliers. These schools have been going head-to-head since 2006 and by the looks of it, the tension between the two only seems to increase.
In 2006 and 2007, Westlake started off strong with a two game win streak against Lake Travis. In 2008, Lake Travis welcomed Chad Morris, a new head coach that served as a catalyst to an 8-year win streak. With strong quarterbacks leading the team, Lake Travis began to gain momentum that in turn carried them to multiple state championships. In spite of this, Westlake has continued to put on a strong front over the years. With UT commit Sam Ehlinger directing the offense, Westlake looked to have the means to win. In the eyes of viewers, a victory against Katy, the team Lake Travis lost to during last season’s state championship, qualified Westlake as a very real competitor.
Building up to the Westlake vs Lake Travis 2016 “Battle of the Lakes”, players and fans took full participation in pep rallies, tailgating, and a little bit of trash talking. Neither Lake Travis nor Westlake intended on giving up any ground and that is what brings such a high intensity level to this rivalry. With tensions building every year, 2016 looked to be one of the biggest games to date. Both teams went into the game feeling confident and aware of what was at stake. Todd Dodge, the head coach for the Westlake football team, expressed that his plan was “to treat this game like any other”. Feeling confident, he mentioned Westlake’s victory against Katy and his players experience with “big ball games” in the past. Cameron Dicker, first string kicker for Lake Travis, voiced that though he was nervous, he “felt confident in Lake Travis’s ability to win.”
What was billed as a showdown between state ranked and storied high school programs quickly became one-sided in favor of Lake Travis. The Cavaliers took advantage of their defense playing stifling defense and the quick strike offense quickly put together two touchdowns. Westlake’s offense struggled without star quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who left the game with a thumb injury in the first quarter. This limited Westlake’s high-octane offense, giving Lake Travis a vital step in the foot race for victory. The final score was a lopsided 49-7, Lake Travis leaving the field victorious.
“We honestly thought we were going to put 40 or 50 on them.” Cavs starting quarterback Charlie Brewer said. The Cavaliers entered the game with confidence born from their near decade of dominance. Brewer’s prediction proved to be correct. Both teams look can look forward to another heated gridiron contest next year as the rivalry continues.