The 2016-2017 season is rapidly approaching. In honor of the drama, prestige, and allure of Texas high school football the staff has decided to rank the top matchups of the season. The collective list is in no particular order and each game was decided upon based on strength of opponents, rivalries and popularity amongst fans.
Get your popcorn ready, this will be a good one to watch.
1. Cedar Hill vs. Bishop Gorman (8/27)
Arguably one of the most anticipated high school football games in the country, this matchup will feature the country’s No. 3 ranked Cedar Hill Longhorns and the No. 1 ranked Bishop Gorman Gaels. Aside from the obvious, a matchup between Texas and Nevada giants, this game could go down as an instant classic. It’s no wonder that it will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.
Both sides are littered with talent. The Longhorns are led by Notre Dame commit, Avery Davis. The senior quarterback had an efficient 2016 campaign with 22 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing while only throwing four interceptions. On the Bishop Gorman side, four-star recruit and Ohio State commit, Tate Martell leads them. Martell had a statistically fantastic year last season. The senior quarterback passed for 32 touchdowns and ran for another nine. Get your popcorn ready, this will be a good one to watch.
2. Katy vs. Westlake (8/26)
Ranked No. 13 in the preseason polls, Katy is fresh off a 2016 6A Division II state championship and will be looking to defend their title against one of Austin’s premier high school programs. The Austin Westlake Chaps are led by one of the most recognizable names in high school football in head coach Todd Dodge. Chaps are anchored by future Texas Longhorn Sam Ehlinger who led them to the 6A division 1 title game last year.
Looking to shut down Ehlinger and the Chaps offense will be Katy’s four-star defensive tackle, Corey Bethley. There is a ton of intrigue in this matchup; it’s Austin versus Houston and bragging rights are on the line.
3. Arkansas High vs. Texas High (9/2)
One of the best rivalries in all of high school sports is the Texarkana battle for the Battleaxe. This will be the 102nd meeting between Arkansas and Texas high. Although these teams don’t feature five-star recruits, it’s been a staple in East Texas and fans flock from both states to see this game played. On September 2, it will be a lot more than just a state line that divides these two teams.
4. Stratford vs. Canadian (9/16)
After two state championship seasons in 2014 and 2015, the Canadian Wildcats have won an impressive 31 games in a row. Likely the most important game on their 2016-2017 schedule will be against the Stratford Elks. Dual-threat offensive and defensive lineman, Parker Hanna leads the Elks. This matchup features two of Texas’ finest smaller high schools and is likely a preview of the 2A and 3A state champions.
5. Midland Lee vs. Odessa Permian (11/4)
This one speaks for itself. Dubbed the “Friday Night Lights” game, the rivalry between Odessa Permian and Midland Lee is one of the fiercest and most competitive in the state. This season, it features a rebuilding Midland Lee side after a dismal 4-6 record last season, and an Odessa Permian team that lived up to expectations last season with a 10-2 record. Regardless of records, stats and players, any team can win in a rivalry game especially when they have the force of 20,000 fans at their back.