This Week in Texas High School Football: May 16

AT&T to host the 2018 and 2019 state championships and Alvarez departs from Ennis to take Copperas Cove job

UIL makes big announcements
In recent weeks, the UIL has made a couple of major announcements concerning the football title games. The first was of the use of instant replay at the state title games beginning in 2018. There are still some details to be worked out but expect many similarities to the current NCAA replay format minus coaches’ challenges. The other was the announcement that state title games will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Greg Tepper and Max Thompson on Texas Football Today discussed the announcement below:

http://www.texasfootball.com/watch-uil-announces-state-championships-will-att-stadium-2018-19/

7-on-7 state qualifying recap and first full week of qualifiers
Lorena and Midlothian Heritage clinched the first two Division II State Tournament spots last Saturday at the McLennan County SQT hosted at Lorena and Robinson. Both qualifying games came down to the final moments. At Lorena HS, Lorena needed a last-second pass breakup in the end zone to quell a rally from Whitney in a 40-39 win. Whitney, who rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit in its final pool game to take down Melissa 26-24, dug itself an early 20-6 hole against Lorena in the qualifying game. Whitney stormed back in the second half to actually take a 39-33 lead but hold it to win the game. Midlothian Heritage found itself down 21-0 to Groesbeck in the qualifying round but rallied back to cut the Goats’ lead to 35-33 late in the second half. After getting a key stop with a minute and a half left, the Jaguars scored on the game’s final play to secure a spot in the state tournament with a 39-35 win.

Full scores from the McLennan County SQT can be found here: http://www.texasfootball.com/mclennan-county-sqt-scores/

This week marks the first full week of qualifying action across the state. In Division I we’ll have qualifiers at Grapevine, Lake Travis and Rosenberg-Richmond. While in Division II we will see qualifiers played in Gainesville, Gatesville, West Columbia, Fredericksburg, Longview Spring Hill and Hitchcock. All tournaments this week will be played on Saturday and full coverage can be found at texasfootball.com.

 Jack Alvarez to Copperas Cove; Ennis open
On Friday morning, DCTF leaned that Ennis head coach Jack Alvarez would be presented to the Copperas Cove ISD school board as the school’s next head football coach/athletic director. Alvarez ends an impressive seven-year run at Ennis where he posted a 60-25 record and led Ennis to the 2014 5A Division II state title.  Alvarez has been a head coach for 20 seasons and has a 165-74 record with stints at West Hardin and Kirbyville in addition to his time at Ennis. He led Kirbyville to a pair of state title game appearances as well. Alvarez replaces the retired Jack Welch at Cove. The Bulldawgs cancelled spring football so Alvarez and the new staff will have the extra week in the fall to prepare for the 2018 season. In the meantime, Ennis is one of the state’s premier jobs and is now open very late in the game. The positives are plenty in Ennis including some really talented younger groups in the pipeline, but the Lions had spring practice, so the new coach will be at a bit of a disadvantage heading into 2018. The early word is Ennis is expected to have a hire by June 12. There are multiple head coaches with state titles on their resume who have expressed interest in addition to an old face possibly looking to return to town.

Infante departs Port Isabel after one season
After just one season at Port Isabel, Jaime Infante resigned his post with the Tarpons last week. Infante, who had spent 15 seasons at Lyford before taking the Port Isabel job last off-season. Infante posted a 2-7 mark at Port Isabel but his tenure ends with many questions as rumors of UIL rules violations swirled in the Valley in recent weeks.

Brownfield hires Tulia head coach
Brownfield will be on its third head coach in the past three seasons and the district is hoping this hire is a bit longer term as BISD announced Tulia head coach Duane Toliver as the next head football coach/athletic director on May 4. Toliver, who has stints as a head coach at Claude and Tulia and in New Mexico, is a Texas Tech graduate and should be a good fit for a Cubs squad that is typically very talented but has struggled to live up to expectations the past couple of seasons.

Scott Campbell heads to the Big Country
On Monday May 7, Clyde announced the hiring of Luling head coach Scott Campbell as the school’s next head football coach/athletic director. Campbell has spent the last three seasons at Luling and will take over at Clyde for Rocky Smart who is now an assistant at 5A North Forney.

Ronnie Gage announces retirement
Paradise head coach Ronnie Gage as expected announced his retirement last week after successful quadruple bypass surgery following a heart attack. By all accounts, Coach Gage’s recovery is going well and we wish him nothing but the best in retirement. Gage retires after a 42-year coaching career, including 27 seasons as a head coach posting a 187-97-9 record including two state titles at Lewisville in 1993 and 1996.

Whitney hires Mark Byrd
Whitney didn’t waste much time in its coaching search as the district announced Coldspring head coach Mark Byrd as its next head football coach/athletic director on May 7. Byrd, who has previously been a head coach at Ganado and Houston Westside before his stint at Coldspring, cited Whitney’s upward trajectory and location closer to family as primary drivers in the decision.

Buffalo Brings in coordinator from state title winner
After the surprising resignation of head coach Gary Grubbs in April, most thought the smart money was on Buffalo ISD staying inside for its next head coach. Considering the Bison are fresh off a 10-2 season and bring back 18 starters, it made sense to stay inside. However, Buffalo found its guy and on Monday May 7 announced Rockdale offensive coordinator Brandon Houston as the next head football coach/athletic director. Houston is one of the more well thought of offensive minds in the state and played a key role in the Tigers run to a state title in 2017. Houston spent time as an assistant at Odessa, Port Lavaca Calhoun, Grapevine, Belton and Lorena in addition to a year on staff at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He inherits a team with high expectations, as Buffalo should be among the contenders in Class 3A Division II Region II.

Hamilton hires Casey Jones
After losing head coach Mike Reed to the six-man ranks a couple of weeks ago, Hamilton ISD wasted no time in naming its next head football coach/athletic director naming Brock offensive coordinator Casey Jones at a school board meeting Monday night.

Spring football is here
Spring football is right around the corner for 6A and 5A programs statewide. We will have a statewide listing of spring football games right here each week until the end of May. If you’d like your spring game to be listed; send an e-mail to matt.stepp@texasfootball.com.  Here’s a listing of the spring games we currently have!

May 16

Amarillo Tascosa, 7:00pm at Bivins Stadium

Pearland Dawson, 6:00pm at Dawson HS

Victoria West, 6:00pm at Memorial Stadium

May 17

Cedar Hill, 7:00pm at Longhorn Stadium

Denton Guyer, 6:30pm at Guyer HS

Dickinson, 5:00pm at Vitanza Stadium

Flower Mound Marcus, 7:00pm at Marcus HS

Humble Kingwood, 6:00pm at Turner Stadium

Keller, 7:00pm at KISD Stadium

Keller Fossil Ridge, 6:00pm at Fossil Ridge HS

Little Elm, 5:30pm at Little Elm ISD Athletic Complex

Manor, 6:30pm at Manor ISD Stadium

Richardson, 6:30pm at Eagle-Mustang Stadium

San Angelo Central 6:30pm at San Angelo Stadium

Waco Midway, 6:00pm at Panther Stadium

Wichita Falls, 7:00pm at Memorial Stadium

May 18

Alief Elsik, 6:00pm at Crump Stadium

Amarillo Palo Duro, 6:00pm at Bivins Stadium

Burleson Centennial, 6:00pm at Centennial HS

Cleburne, 7:00pm at Cleburne HS

Cypress Fairbanks, 4:00pm at Cy Fair HS

Granbury, 6:30pm at Pirate Stadium

Houston Westside, 5:00pm at Westside HS

Hurst Bell, 6:00pm at Pennington Field

Joshua, 7:00pm at Owl Stadium

Lake Travis, 7:30pm at Cavalier Stadium

Mansfield Lake Ridge, 6:00pm at Lake Ridge HS

Mansfield Legacy, 6:00pm at Legacy HS

Port Lavaca Calhoun, 6:00pm at Sandcrab Stadium

Red Oak. 6:00pm at Red Oak HS

Richardson Pearce, 7:00pm at Eagle-Mustang Stadium

Victoria East, 7:00pm at Memorial Stadium

Weatherford, 6:30pm at Kangaroo Stadium

May 22

Abilene, 6:00pm at Shotwell Stadium

Allen, 6:00pm at Eagle Stadium

Arlington Lamar, 6:00pm at Cravens Field

Clear Springs, 6:00pm at Clear Springs HS

Conroe Oak Ridge, 6:00pm at Oak Ridge HS

Cypress Bridgeland, 6:00pm at Bridgeland HS

DeSoto, 7:00pm at Eagle Stadium

Ennis, 6:00pm at Lion Memorial Stadium

Grapevine, 6:00pm at Cross Timbers MS

Mission Veterans Memorial, 6:00pm at Veterans Memorial HS

Rockwall, 7:00pm at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium

South Garland, 6:00pm at HBJ Stadium

Wylie, 5:00pm at Wylie ISD Stadium

May 23

Arlington Sam Houston, 5:00pm at Wilemon Field

Arlington Seguin, 6:30pm at Seguin HS

Belton, 5:00pm at Tiger Field

Colleyville Heritage, 6:00pm at Heritage HS

El Paso Pebble Hills, 7:00pm at Pebble Hills HS

Saginaw Boswell, 6:00pm at Pioneer Stadium

May 24

Alice, 7:00pm at Memorial Stadium

Arlington, 6:00pm at Arlington HS

Arlington Bowie, 6:30pm at Bowie HS

Arlington Martin, 7:00pm at Martin HS

Cedar Park, 7:15pm at Cedar Park HS

Cibolo Steele, 6:00pm at Steele HS

College Station, 6:00pm at CSHS Cougar Stadium

El Paso Eastlake, 6:30pm at Eastlake HS

El Paso Franklin, 7:00pm at Franklin HS

Frisco Lone Star, 6:00pm at Lone Star HS

Frisco Memorial, 6:00pm at Memorial HS

Haslet Eaton, 6:00pm at Eaton HS

Killeen, 7:00pm at Killeen HS

Lancaster, 6:30pm at Tiger Stadium

Mesquite Horn, 6:30pm at Horn HS

Mesquite Poteet, 6:00pm at Memorial Stadium

McKinney Boyd, 7:00pm at Boyd HS

McKinney North, 6:30pm at McKinney North HS

Midlothian, 6:30pm at MISD Stadium

North Forney, 6:00pm at City Bank Stadium

San Antonio East Central, 6:00pm at Hornet Stadium

San Antonio O’Connor, 6:00pm at O’Connor HS

Southlake Carroll, 7:00pm at Dragon Stadium

Tyler John Tyler, 6:00pm at John Tyler HS

Waco, 5:30pm at Waco ISD Stadium

Waller, 5:30pm at Waller ISD Stadium

May 25

Dallas South Oak Cliff, 7:00pm at Life Oak Cliff HS

Dallas Skyline, 5:30pm at Forrester Field

El Paso Americas, 7:00pm at Americas HS

El Paso Del Valle, 5:30pm at Conquest Stadium

El Paso Parkland, 6:00pm at Parkland HS

Fort Worth South Hills, 5:30pm at South Hills HS

Fort Worth Southwest, 6:00pm at Southwest HS

Hallsville, 6:30pm at Bobcat Stadium

McAllen Memorial, 6:00pm at Memorial HS

Trophy Club Nelson, 6:00pm at Byron Nelson HS

May 29

Sachse, 6:00pm at Sachse HS

June 1

San Antonio McCollum, 6pm at Memorial Stadium

Coaching Clinics
With the off-season starting that means it’s also clinic season throughout the state of Texas,  here’s a listing of clinics from around the state, if we don’t have you clinic listed e-mail it to us at matt.stepp@texasfootball.com

May 25-26: Gateway to Mexico Clinic, Laredo

June 12-14: Angelo Coaches Clinic, San Angelo http://www.angelofootballclinic.com/index.html

June 14-15: Dos Amigos Ranch Football Clinic, Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino-Hotel, Eagle Pass

July 22-25: 2018 THSCA Convention & Coaching School, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio http://www.thsca.com/convention

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