HOUSTON — Fox Sports Southwest and the University Interscholastic League announced in a conjoined news conference Monday at the Texas High School Coaches Association’s Coaching School and Convention that four Valley-area high school football teams will be featured on the television network’s season kickoff special.
The event — Texas Football Days — will air high school football contests from around the state on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30. The broadcast will feature two-live televised games as well as 11 live look-in games from across the state, each of which will receive live coverage and analysis on the network.
Two Valley-area clashes will be highlighted as part of the Texas Football Days live look-in coverage: McAllen Memorial vs. Brownsville Hanna and Mission High vs. Mission Veterans.
The Mustangs will take on the Golden Eagles at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Sams Memorial Stadium in Brownsville. The Eagles and Patriots will also kickoff their annual rivalry at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Tom Landry Stadium in Mission.
“We created Texas Football Days to celebrate football and its positive impact on communities throughout our state,” Fox Sports Southwest Sr. Vice President and General Manager Steve Simpson said. “We are proud to work with our partners at the UIL, THSCA and the THSADA to make it a highly anticipated signature event. New for our third year, we are expanding our live Texas high school football broadcast over two days to showcase the unmatched passion for the sport.”
The two main broadcasts for Texas Football Days feature Wall at Mason at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 and Denison against Sherman at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Bearcat Stadium.
The other live look-in games also include: Katy at Galena Park North Shore, Plano West at Frisco Reedy, Argyle at Stephenville, Cedar Park at Austin Vandergrift, Ira at Crowell, Anton at Jayton, Amarillo Tascosa at Abilene, Longview at Lufkin, Kerrville Tivy at Dripping Springs.
“Texas Football Days has been a wonderful celebration and start to the football season for the past two years. FSSW does an excellent job highlighting Texas high school football and all the diverse communities and unique stories across the state.”
OTHER NOTES FROM THSCA CONVENTION:
UIL officials discussed lately implemented home-field advantage rules for the state football playoffs. The organization recently introduced the rule in 6A and 5A divisions, which gifts home-field advantage in state playoff games outside of championships, and talked to the THSCA about potentially bringing the rule and playoff format down to 4A and smaller classifications. The main obstacle for much of the small school resistance was travel costs, which some coaches fear may balloon with a difficult road trip early in the playoffs instead of a neutral site game.
UIL officials also confirmed that the Texas state championship football games would continue to be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2019 and 2020. The contract between UIL and AT&T Stadium that determines the location of the game expires after the 2020. A UIL spokesperson also said that basketball tournament championships are likely to continue at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The basketball state championship was previously played in Austin for 90 straight seasons, but travel expenses and a lack of available hotel rooms have made San Antonio a more attractive and viable option as a host city.
UIL staff also touched on the controversy and feedback surrounding its transfer policy laid out in the parent-resident rule. While acknowledging problems have been raised regarding the current rule, the UIL defended the rule as well as its existing waivers and exceptions. “We believe that our activities are community based, and they want students who are going to school and participating,” UIL representatives said. The organization also announced it rules council will continue to consider the parent-residence rule as it relates to transferring and potential changes or modifications.
Lastly, organization representatives addressed to contentious issue of whether or not high school football coaches should be allowed to coach their own teams during state 7-on-7 tournaments. The UIL said that they don’t have a consensus from its bloc of coaches that they would be interested in coaching summer 7-on-7s, and that practically the inclusion of head coaches won’t prevent the formation of select teams. Many other coaches, however, are campaigning for the ability to participate in order to prevent other third-party coaches from coaching their players over the offseason, with potential burnout playing a large part in opposition to the existing structure as well. The UIL said it would stick by the existing structure for now along with a belief that some offseason separation between coach and players is healthy.