High School Football

Texas high school football teams get the season started: ‘There’s nothing like it.’

Hail Mary: North Shore wins on miracle pass

North Shore did the unthinkable with a walk-off, 45-yard Hail Mary from Dematrius Davis to Carter in the corner of the end zone as time expired to stun Duncanville, 41-36, in front of 42,363 in the Class 6A Division I final at AT&T Stadium.
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North Shore did the unthinkable with a walk-off, 45-yard Hail Mary from Dematrius Davis to Carter in the corner of the end zone as time expired to stun Duncanville, 41-36, in front of 42,363 in the Class 6A Division I final at AT&T Stadium.

Christmas has again arrived early in the Lone Star State.

Why is that, you ask? Because Texas high school football is here... at least practice is.

Private schools started practicing on Aug. 1. Class 4A and below, and teams without spring football started on Aug. 5.

Arlington Sam Houston head coach Anthony Criss and the rest of the schools start Monday.

“You wait so long for it during the year. It gets the juices flowing and it’s just that comradery you have with the entire state. The kids come together for one common goal, to win a state championship, but also to get better everyday,” Criss said. “You need to be here to understand what it means for football season in Texas.”

The Criss bloodline runs deep with brother Zach at Wyatt, which started Aug. 5. Along with their father Willie, football has been in their family for over four decades.

“No sleep the night before and I’ll call my brother, he’ll call me just to see how the day will go and what practice will be like,” Anthony said. “Dad will come back and check how practice is going, and it’s been the same thing for years. It’s our way of life and football is what makes us go.”

Nothing like it

Another team that started on Aug. 5 was 4A power Kennedale, where head coach Richard Barrett begins his 19th season with the Wildcats.

“It’s our time of year. Texas high school football and Friday night lights. There’s nothing like it,” Barrett said. “High school football here is special. Each day we get a little better. Aug. 30 rolls around and we’ll see what we have.”

Private school teams such as Nolan Catholic started on the first of the month.

Head coach David Beaudin and his Vikings also held workouts at Texas A&M-Commerce.

“This feeling never leaves you, for anybody involved in the game at any level. It’s something special and we’re doing something bigger than ourselves,” he said. “The anticipation is like Christmas morning. Not a lot of sleep the night before. I’m honored to be a tiny part of Texas high school football.”

Opportunity to coach TXHSFB

Arlington ISD held its first media day on Wednesday at Arlington High School. Along with Sam Houston; Arlington, Lamar, Bowie, Martin and Seguin all begin varsity practice on Monday.

“We are all extremely excited because it’s that time of year again,” Seguin coach Joe Gordon said. “Everyone wants that edge to get back to work. The more work you put in, you have the opportunity to accomplish more things. You get more prepared and confident in your football programs. Excited to get our hands on the new bloodline that’s coming into your program and to have the opportunity to make dreams into reality.”

Before Gordon arrived at Seguin, he was an assistant for Scott Peach at Arlington.

Peach begins his 17th season as the Colts head coach.

“I’m extremely anxious the week before and there’s that adrenaline rush. I don’t get much sleep the night before and I’ll have a stotic look on my face, and my family knows it,” Peach said. “Complete excitement to have the opportunity to coach high school football in the state of Texas. Another cool thing is that every year is different. You don’t know what you have until you get out there and that’s the beauty of this game.”

The first scrimmages will take place Aug. 15 and Aug. 22, while the regular season will kick off on Aug. 29.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.
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