Tag Archives: high school football

Sparkling football stadiums: an acquired taste


I will admit that this required a bit of understanding on my part.

High school football stadiums in Texas occasionally rival college sports venues.

As the story in this link suggests, bigger is better in Texas.


Allen High School boasts an 18,000-seat stadium. It cost $60 million to build.

You think that’s the top end? Guess again. McKinney High School, just a bit north of Allen, is going to break ground on a $70 million football venue.

One of my sons lives in Allen with his wife, two sons and a their daughter. I’ll declare, therefore, that I have a keener-than-usual interest in this phenomenon.

My life experience includes growing up in a suburban Portland, Ore., community where football used to be pretty big, too. But not that big. Our high school football venue consisted of a covered grandstand that held maybe 2,000 fans.

We moved to Texas in 1984, where we learned just how big high school football really can get.

As for these gleaming venues, I’ll finish with this observation.

They aren’t conceived and built in a vacuum. Taxpaying residents of the communities involved vote to build them. I presume everyone’s eyes are wide open. The Allen HS bond election passed with a significant majority.

I accept their decision … although I’m still trying to understand it.

Love for football requires some understanding


We learned something quintessentially Texan when we moved to Texas back in the spring of 1984.

It is that high school football matters — a lot! — to communities all across our vast state. Whether it’s along the Gulf Coast or throughout the Piney Woods of East Texas, or in West Texas, communities rally around their high school football team. Non-football activity virtually stops on Friday nights in the fall in places like Orange, Silsbee, Lufkin, Canadian or Pampa. It all takes place under the lights in high school stadiums all over the state.

We’ve come to understand the importance of football in Texas.

It’s with that backdrop that I found the story this morning about the new football stadium to be built in McKinney, a suburban community just a bit north of Dallas.

They’re going to spend $69.9 million for a 12,000-seat stadium. Construction starts next month and it will be open for business next year. McKinney residents got a bit of a jolt when school officials reported that increasing concrete costs drove the price of the stadium past its original price of $62.8 million.

The fascinating element, of course, is that the money was approved by voters, who approved a bond issue to build a facility that a lot of Division II colleges would love to have.

I’ve got a bit of a personal interest in this issue as well. They built an 18,000-seater in Allen, just south of McKinney a few years back. My grandson graduated from Allen High School this past year. The place is gorgeous and it, too, came via a successful bond issue election. Of course the Allen High project had its ups and downs. One of the “ups” is that the Allen Eagles have been perennial state champions in Class 6A and they fill the place when the Eagles are at home. The “down” was a big one: The stadium was closed for two seasons when they found stress fractures in the concrete that needed immediate repair.

Now is this something I could support with my vote if I was given a chance? I do not know.

The four public high schools in the Amarillo Independent School District share playing time at Dick Bivins Stadium. It’s a nice venue, too. Indeed, it beats the dickens out of the crummy little “stadium” where my high school played football back in Portland, Ore., in the old days.

I guess you just learn to accept the realities of where you live.

Football is a big deal in Texas. My sons didn’t play football when they were growing up and coming of age in Beaumont. Therefore, I generally didn’t have much vested interest in how their high school team played on Friday nights.

These days I no longer question the decisions that residents of certain Texas communities make regarding whether to build these seriously well-appointed sports venues.

If that’s what they want for their community, it’s their money to spend however they see fit.

There was a time when I’d suffer big-time sticker shock. I’ve gotten over it.

I mean, this is Texas, man!



HS football players face serious trouble


I marvel occasionally at the ability of football referees and umpires to stay out of the way of the action as it unfolds before them on the field.

One usually doesn’t worry, though, about players deliberately targeting officials for seriously vicious hits.

Perhaps we ought to worry now.

Two San Antonio-area high school football players have been suspended from school after they pile-drived an official during a game this past week.

See video here

John Jay High School was playing Marble Falls High School. The game was nearing the end. The ref was blindsided by the players. The video, which has gone viral, looks — to me at least — as if it was deliberate and malicious.

The John Jay head coach has apologized for his team. The Marble Falls coach said he’s never seen anything like what happened in his 14 years coaching high school sports.

The question now being floated is: Should the players be prosecuted for committing a crime?

The ref is so upset at what happened he’s considering pressing charges. If it were me and I was threatened with potential permanent injury as a result of two football players wearing body armor, well, I believe I’d file charges.

Poor sportsmanship happens. You see kids taunting other kids on occasion. They get reprimanded for losing their cool.

The video, though, suggests to me something considerably worse.

I agree with the school officials: Let’s let “due process” play out.

I believe the process is going to produce a criminal prosecution.

Take a look at the video. Your thoughts?