Later today, I'm off for what seems like a new annual tradition of catching the High School Football championship games in Arlington. Oh, and there are also parents to visit and catch up with for a portion of the holidays.
For the sportier option, here's what's on tap ...
Thursday - December 20th
1A-D2 - 12pm - Munday vs Tenaha
1A-D1 - 4pm - Stamford vs Mart
2A-D2 - 8pm - Corsicana Mildred vs East Bernard
The small schools were the most fun to watch last year and I expect them to be as entertaining this year. If you're any kind of football fan and you're not up for the full marathon like me, I'd easily recommend the Thursday batch of games. The 1A-D2 game is a rematch of last year's game won by Teneha. This year, Munday is the team returning a lot of seniors and possibly the favorite. Stamford is a repeat appearance from last year, when they lost to Mason. Along the way to last year's appearance, however, Stamford beat Mart in the semi-final game. And the 2011 championship game was between these same two schools. So there should be plenty of familiarity and bad blood to go around. I have no idea what to expect this time, but I'll be shocked if the 4pm game is a disappointment. I know absolutely nothing of the 2A-D2 schools and that's my homework for the vacation.
Friday - December 21st
2A-D1 - 12pm - Daingerfield vs Cameron Yoe
3A-D2 - 4pm - Gilmer vs Navasoto
4A-D2 - 8pm - Lancaster vs Cedar Park
This will be the first chance I've had to see either of the 2A-D1 teams, but both have been mainstays of the top teams at that level in the past. Ditto for the 3A-D2 schools. I'm only vaguely familiar with the 4A-D2 schools, which takes some doing since I tend to at least have some familiarity with the better programs at that level. That entire field didn't strike me as particularly strong once it was set. But a large part of that is due to a number of programs moving up to 5A and even a few notables moving down to 3A. One of those - Stephenville - won their 3A championship game last week. It's definitely a new decade in 4A football. Hopefully, next year won't see me lose out on free time for following Friday night action.
Saturday - December 22nd
4A-D1 - 12pm - Denton Guyer vs Georgetown
5A-D2 - 4pm - Cedar Hill vs Katy
5A-D1 - 8pm - Allen vs Houston Lamar
This is just going to be a great day of football. Obviously, the Houston area is well represented here. I suspect that Lamar is a sacrificial lamb in the big game. Katy should be favored, but just as last week's big game against former State Champs Cibolo Steele showed, the level of competition is enough to make the game interesting. Denter Guyer is a repeat appearance from last season and arrives this year after a shootout against Tyler John Tyler High. I'm a little disappointed that I don't get to see the UH QB commit from Tyler, but I'll live.
All in all, not a great deal of major rooting interests. Manvel lost a heartbreaker to a subpar team and Euless Trinity failed to make it through the buzzsaw of great Region 1 teams in their bracket. Finally seeing Gilmer in action is a bit of a treat.
It's not lost on me that the folks at Reliant Stadium have purchased a new carpet to try and compete for these games in the years ahead. I'd obviously love to see that, but I'll have to get a little creative about finding some time to trek back up to DFW for some family time.
» Chron: Story lines to follow at high school football title games
» DMN: What you need to know: UIL 5A, 4A, 2A state football championships
» KTXS: Stamford ready for bright lights of Jerry World this time around
» WF Times Record: Tenaha took its lumps early on
» WF Times Record: AP picks Paul as Defensive MVP in Class A
» Star-Telegram: Texas APSE Class 2A and 1A all-state football teams