I know how you feel.
We are, at this moment, as far away from the start of the next Texas high school football season as we can be — more than 230 days until another competitive game. The vast desert wasteland of the offseason awaits us.
In some ways, how it ended makes it worse. The last time we watched a Texas high school football game, it was the inconceivable, nationally famous, I-still-can’t-believe-it-three-weeks-later instant classic between Galena Park North Shore and Duncanville. And before that, it was another holy-cow-did-you-see-that matchup between Longview and Beaumont West Brook. The 2018 Texas high school football season saved the best for last, which makes the wait for the 2019 season all the more harrowing.
But we’ve traversed this path before. We’ve found a way to drag ourselves through the seemingly endless offseason. For the Texas high school football junkie, here is a survival guide for the long wait until the season starts.
The Coaching Carousel
Since this is not a realignment year — we wait until next offseason for the UIL to rejigger the districts — all eyes will be on the always intriguing Texas high school football coaching wire. Every year, there are huge moves featuring high-profile coaches at major schools, but I am always particularly interested in the small-school maneuvering, with coaches packing up to take over prominent 3A and 2A programs. No matter what your taste, there’s sure to be a shake-up in the coaching ranks, and nobody covers it like our insider Matt Stepp — he’s the preeminent news-breaker in Texas high school football.
It’s still a ways away — state qualifying tournaments won’t begin until April, and the state competition isn’t until late June — but if you’re looking for actual football competition, 7-on-7 is the best we can get. I’m coming around on the value of 7-on-7 football, and at the very least, it’s an opportunity to watch some of the best quarterbacks, receivers and defenders in Texas duke it out. Make plans to be in College Station in late June
It’s already clinic season! Texas high school football coaches are always honing their craft, and that means an offseason full of learning from other coaches at a variety of clinics around the state. The big one — the THSCA Coaching School and Convention — isn’t until July in Houston, but there are tons of terrific clinics around the state as early as this weekend. For us, it’s an opportunity to chop it up with coaches and bring you some interviews.
This is also prime time for recruiting, as many of the best prospects across the state and the nation will descend on a variety of camps to test their mettle and improve their game. But be wary of some of these things, which are simply a vehicle to promote a brand and line the pockets of the people running it. Keep your head on a swivel.
Reliving Past Games
If you miss Texas high school football (and you’ve made it this far in the column, so I’m guessing you do), you can always watch memorable games from past seasons. Fox Sports Southwest is currently replaying all of the 2018 state championship games at various times; Texan Live has all of their games archived from this season; and YouTube has literally hundreds of games from across the decades for your viewing pleasure.
Texas Football Today
And hey, we’re talking Texas high school football year-round on our daily live show Texas Football Today! We break down the biggest topics of the day, talk with some of the most compelling coaches around Texas, and have fun doing it. If you’ve never checked out Texas Football Today, now’s the perfect time — you can watch it live on our site or on Facebook, or you can subscribe to the podcast.
It’s a long, long time until the 2019 Texas high school football season kicks off, but never fear: there’s just enough football to get you through the offseason, if you look hard enough.