High School Sports

‘It was the best one ever played.’ Manvel, Highland Park head coaches relive 5A classic

Brock, Brownwood, Lufkin and Longview will play for the Texas Football Days trophy on Friday Aug. 31, 2018.
Brock, Brownwood, Lufkin and Longview will play for the Texas Football Days trophy on Friday Aug. 31, 2018. Fox Sports Southwest

Highland Park and Manvel played in the Class 5A Division I state title game last December in perhaps the greatest UIL state final in Texas high school history.

Here’s your chance to re-live the moment with the two head coaches that were on the sidelines.

Fox Sports Southwest kicked off its Texas Football Days on Sunday with the high school preview show from AT&T Stadium that launches its week-long celebration into the season.

A look back at some of the most memorable moments of 2017 and a preview of the top storylines heading into 2018 includes a unique look inside the game as Highland Park’s Randy Allen and Manvel’s Kirk Martin sat and watched it together. The show will air on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

But here’s a sneak peek into what the coaches said.

“What was evidence on the field was everything high school football represents,” Allen said. “You play your heart out, go shake hands and hug each other and respect each other.”

“It was special to play a great team, a team that won it the year before,” Martin added. “It was a heck of a high school football game. It was the best one ever played.”

In addition to the preseason analysis, the show will also include the inspirational story of Ennis head coach Sam Harrell, who was forced to step away from the game in 2010 due to multiple sclerosis, but is returning to the sideline after years of stem cell treatments in Panama thanks to the Ennis community.

Harrell had spent 16 years with Ennis and won over 150 games, including 4A titles in 2000, 2001 and 2004.

FSSW also ran a feature story on the female athletes playing the game of football, most notable Strawn’s K-Lani Nava, who made history in December.

Nava not only became the first female football player to participate in a UIL state championship, but also scored the first-ever points by a female in a UIL football title game too.

Strawn won the Class 1A Division II state title.

FSSW will also replay some of the best state title games in history all week long.

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Fox Sports Southwest will replay classic state title games all week. Greg Tepper, FSSW

Additional highlights from the show include a review of last year’s first-time state champions, a behind-the-scene look at state power Carthage, which has won six titles in the past 10 years and major coaching changes like Riley Dodge returning to Southlake Carroll.

If you missed any of it, the Texas High School Football Preview will re-air on FSSW throughout the week: Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 11 p.m.; Thursday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m.; and Friday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m.

It all leads up to Friday night as FSSW will kick off the season with a doubleheader. Brock will play at Brownwood with kickoff set for 5:30 p.m. Lufkin at Longview is the second game, starting at 8:30 p.m.

For the first time, teams will compete to take home a Texas Football Days trophy.

“We were thrilled with the success of the inaugural Texas Football Days last year, and are very excited to see this event continue and grow,” said Dr. Charles Breithaupt, UIL Executive Director in a press release. “FSSW is committed to celebrating and showcasing Texas high school football and the Friday night experience for high schools across the state, and Texas Football Days does that in a wonderful way.”

They will also include live look-ins at 10 other high school games across the state, including five teams from Dallas-Fort Worth

  • Euless Trinity at Waco Midway
  • Galena Park North Shore at Katy
  • Conroe The Woodlands at Cy-Fair
  • Lubbock Coronado vs. Lubbock Estacado
  • Silsbee at Port Neches-Groves
  • Gilmer at Atlanta
  • Sherman at Denison
  • El Paso Parkland at El Paso Burges
  • DeSoto at Odessa Permian
  • Stephenville at Argyle
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