Written by Matt Wixon
High schools jump into Monday night football tradition with shifted playoff schedules
The start of the week was expected to include football teams preparing for UIL semifinals and celebrating TAPPS state titles. Instead, on the day when the Cowboys play the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, high school teams are joining the party.
A dozen teams from North Texas will be playing Monday, starting with the 1 p.m. showdown of DeSoto (13-0) and Euless Trinity (11-2) at Waco ISD Stadium. Both schools are releasing students early so they can head south for the Class 5A Division I Region I final.
Playing on Monday won’t be a big adjustment, DeSoto coach Claude Mathis said.
“But playing in the cold weather? That’s something different,” he said. “But we’ve played some in the cold, too.”
It will be cold Monday, but nothing like the weather of Thursday and Friday that forced weekend games to be postponed. The wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain made roads treacherous and covered football fields with ice.
Ennis managed to get its 4A Division II Region II final in on Thursday, and Allen traveled to Austin on Saturday to win its 5A Division I Region II final. Those teams will be resting as their Dallas-area brethren try to squeeze in games before the UIL’s regional final deadline of Monday night.
Five games featuring local teams kick off in the afternoon, including Cedar Hill (11-2) vs. Denton Ryan (10-2) in the 5A Division II Region I final at 3 p.m. at Apogee Stadium in Denton. Cedar Hill was the 5A Division II runner-up last season and Ryan was the 4A Division I runner-up in 2010.
The latest start Monday will be for Highland Park (12-1) and Wylie (9-4), who play at 7 p.m. at Allen in the 4A Division I Region II final. Highland Park has won all 14 games it has played against Wylie, but the Scots’ last two wins – in 2010 and 2011 – were each by three points. The teams have never met in the playoffs.
First Baptist will be the first of the local private schools to play for a TAPPS title this week. First Baptist (13-0) plays Bryan Brazos Christian (12-0) for the Division III title at 6 p.m. Monday at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana. Plano Prestonwood Christian (12-1) and Fort Worth Nolan (9-4) will play for the Division I title at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Tiger Stadium.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter @mattwixon.