AT&T Stadium lands UIL football title games

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Championship schedule

Dec. 13

Class 1A Six-Man Division II — noon

Class 1A Six-Man Division I — 3 p.m.

Dec. 18

Class 2A Division II — 10 a.m.

Class 2A Division I — 1 p.m.

Class 3A Division II — 5 p.m.

Class 3A Division I — 8 p.m.

Dec. 19

Class 4A Division II — noon

Class 4A Division I — 4 p.m.

Class 5A Division II — 8 p.m.

Dec. 20

Class 5A Division I — noon

Class 6A Division II — 4 p.m.

Class 6A Division I — 8 p.m.

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All 12 UIL football title games will return to Arlington’s AT&T Stadium for a second consecutive year, the UIL announced Tuesday at the Texas High School Coaches Association state convention.

“Having all football championship games in one location truly makes for an amazing experience for the coaches, athletes and fans,” UIL executive director Charles Breithaupt said. “And last year it led to a Texas high school football attendance record.”

The Allen-Pearland game drew 54,347 fans to AT&T Stadium.

Southlake Carroll coach Hal Wasson recalled the 1990 Wilmer-Hutchins title: “There was an ice storm that came in and there were eight people in the stands and all you could think about was the frigid weather. When you have an indoor facility, one thing you’re guaranteed is the good weather.”

The 2014 football state championship will mark the fifth year all games in 6A through 1A will be played at predetermined locations. The UIL has chosen a central site for the 5A (now 6A) football state championship since 2006.

More divisions possible

Those hectic Fridays each November when 6A and 5A coaches stress over whether they’re in the Division I and II playoff brackets could some day end with predetermined UIL alignments now used in 4A-1A districts, according to THSCA board member Tony Trevino.

“I can foresee it, yes sir,” Trevino, head coach at Corpus Christi Carroll, said of permanent football brackets in all classes. “In a UIL rules meeting Monday, Briethaupt asked for a show of hands and the vast majority of the coaches in there raised their hands that they would like the UIL to look into that.”

The problem is that there’s only 18 6A teams from San Angelo to El Paso to the Panhandle.

“If it were Division I and Division II right now, we’d probably have to go four hours every Friday night,” said Abilene coach Steve Warren. “It’s easy for metropolitan areas, but it provides some challenges out in West Texas.”

Hello Alamodome

Moving the 2015 UIL girls and boys state basketball tournaments to the Alamodome, which was finalized July 15, means as many as 30,000 fans will be able to attend the games.

Nick Langella, general manager of the Alamodome, said the facility will be configured like it was when the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs played there from 1993 to 2002.

“We like that kind of connection: the Spurs configuration,” Breithaupt said.

A rafters-to-floor partition will close off one end of the facility.

Accommodating NCAA

All-Star basketball and football games associated with THSCA might be held before the convention ever begins.

The organization was forced to scramble at filling some speaker’s slots when the NCAA upheld a rule that prohibits Division I coaches from attending high school All-Star contests and any associated events such as coaches’ clinics.

Abilene coach and THSCA board president Steven Warren said the games would definitely remain. Monday’s basketball game was the 80th annual contest and the football game has been around for 70 years.

“I think worst case scenario, we move them to accommodate,” Warren said. “There’s a lot questions up in the air. I don’t think the games are going anywhere. We’ve been playing them for so long.”

Location, location

State volleyball, the third weekend in November, and February’s state wresting tournament will return to Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center.

A third soccer classification has been added for 2015, so the UIL is still looking for a two-stadium site.

All state tennis competitions, team in the fall and individual in the spring, are moving to College Station. Large schools played in Austin last spring.

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