It might still be 100 degrees in Texas but "Zero Week" is here and it is time for the "yellow dog school busses" to start rolling. High School football returns to the Lone Star State this Labor Day weekend.
Marquis matchups dot the state on this very first weekend. Thursday night Fox Sports Net kicks off the 2007 campaign with a televised match up between two Houston area teams, Cy Fair and Stratford.
Stratford quarterback Andrew Luck is a Stanford commitment, an Elite 11 selection, and widely recognized as the top QB in the state of Texas, while Cy Fair running back Sam McGuffie, a Michigan commit, was the internet darling this past winter with his now-famous hurdle of a would be tackler. It should be a terrific offensive shootout to start the season.
Friday night, statewide recruiting attention shifts to Madisonville, where the two top junior running backs in Texas square off. Madisonville's Chris Whaley is invoking comparisons to Adrian Peterson, while Navasota's Dexter Pratt has been a mainstay in the backfield for two seasons already. Not a big stadium, so fans need to get there early.
The word "classic" is a household expression on the first couple of weekends of the season and several top games are features of various "classics". Allen and Garland square off in a 5A shootout at Texas Stadium as part of the Tom Landry Classic, while 4A powers Highland Park and Waxahachie form the second half of the doubleheader.
Class 3A power Gilmer takes on Las Vegas Bishop Gorman in the East Texas classic in Tyler. Wolfforth Frenship and Wichita Falls Rider tee off in Abilene. Smithson Valley and The Woodlands headline the Round Rock shootout. Dallas Carter plays Dallas Kimball in the Oak Cliff "Super Bowl", while in San Antonio, Churchill and Clark play their annual "Gucci Bowl".
For just pure outstanding football 5A Division II champion Cedar Hill opens its season against a very good Colleyville Heritage team. Alamo Heights, the defending 4A champion, travels to Georgetown, which won the 2007 summer State 7-on-7 title. Lake Travis and Texas City hook up in a 4A battle in Tomball, while Rockwall travels to Midland for a 5A match up.
In East Texas, Longview travels to Lufkin in the first of two games this fall. The Panthers return to face the Lobos in Longview on October 5. Texas High of Texarkana plays the first game of the post Ryan Mallett era by hosting John Tyler.
Mesquite is at Plano in a 5A match up of two teams with deep playoff hopes, while Converse Judson travels up I-35 to face Leander. In Houston, North Shore travels to Aldine and Katy hosts Klein.
Two big openers in 3A find Giddings at Wimberley and Celina facing Robinson at Pennington Field in Hurst.