During the high school football playoffs, one of my favorite things to do every week is to check the schedule and see where each game is played.
Choosing a venue for the playoffs is not always easy. Sometimes the two coaches cannot agree on anything, and a series of "coin toss" determines all the details.
But there are also times when it is that simple. Both coaches know where they want to play, whether the venue is available, and the game has been determined.
It is also interesting to guess where each game will be played in advance. But I usually contact the coach the week before to find out where I might go next week.
What makes the stadium a good place to watch football is different for the media and fans. Yes, as a reporter, I am a bit spoiled. I want good WiFi, updated roster of the two teams, and seats at the press conference so that I can save statistics on my laptop. It’s okay if you provide food, but I only drink a bottle of water.
None of these things can be guaranteed on Friday night. I have to fight for a seat, and sometimes I cannot secure a seat. I used to sit in the stands, or just stand in the press box, recording scenes on a piece of paper so that I could enter statistics later.
This reminds me of this week’s list. My first five stadiums can cover high school rugby games.
I restrict this list to stadiums that are mainly used for high school football, which excludes AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech University’s Jones Stadium, and Abilene Christian’s Anthony Field, which are the venues for this week’s Rider vs. Lubbock-Cooper game land. But honestly, only Anthony Field will crack my list. It examines the most important factors for me.
The most important thing is hospitality. Some stadiums will not make the media feel welcome. For example, it is difficult for you to convince me to report on a game at Hugh Sandifer Stadium in Abilene Wylie. A legendary coach like Sandiver should have a better performance in the press box of the stadium named after him.
Head coaches and sports directors rarely have anything to do with the hospitality of the press booth.
Many stadiums kick the media out of the press box within 30 minutes after the game. Now it’s not as important as when we try to meet the 11pm deadline. By the time we finish the interview on the spot, we still have up to 15 minutes to make a story before being kicked out of the press box.
In the parking lot of the Saginaw ISD Stadium, I couldn't count the number of times I wrote stories on the passenger seat of my car.
I have never reported on the Ford Center (The Star) game, but the stories I have heard about the poor hospitality of the media did not make me knock on the door to experience it.
When I heard that Husky was playing at Allen’s luxurious Eagle Stadium, I was very excited, but it did not have a reputation for hospitality. Therefore, I will go to Anthony Field to participate in the Rider-Cooper competition and have Cory Hogue participate in the Hirschi-Springtown competition in Allen.
I sound spoiled, but I need at least an hour after the game to give our readers a quick review of all four games of the Friday night playoffs in our region. I know that the Abilene Christian staff at Anthony Field understands the need to work immediately after the game.
I also did not include the Memorial Stadium on this list, but I will brag about the WFISD staff. The news box was very hospitable, and served delicious food and plenty of drinks on the night of the game. If I include it, it is definitely my top five.
My only complaint is that there is no elevator. But Jerry Chavez, a longtime news host, recently shared a story he heard from legendary Husky coach Dubrakin.
Larkin mentioned the former WFISD Sports Director Joe Golding that the elevator to the press booth would be a good addition. Golding’s response was, “If you can’t climb the press stand, you don’t deserve to enter the press stand.”
very fair. Who would argue with the most important figure in the history of WFISD track and field?
These are my five favorite stadiums to cover high school football games.
5. Midland's Grand Communications Stadium-I spent four football seasons almost completely covering the Midland High School Bulldogs. This means there is a lot of time in Grande, not just football. When I was in Midland Reporter-Telegram, I played football. Although, due to some poor quality Wi-Fi, I did call it Grande Mis-Communications Stadium jokingly. What should I do if the Wi-Fi of the stadium sponsored by the Internet provider is poor? They have resolved this issue, and I am very happy to be back in the press booth in the past two weeks. Grande is a better facility than the famous Ratliff Stadium in Odessa. The hospitality alone makes it special. Grande also owns the slowest elevator I have ever taken. But a slow elevator is better than no elevator.
4. Denton's Collins Athletic Complex – I lived in Denton when this stadium was built. I drive past it every day, waiting for the day when I can watch the game there. Before I got this opportunity, I moved from Denton to Mdwestern State. So, when I returned to Wichita Falls to work at TRN and reported my first game at Collins, it felt like I was back to square one. This is a great stadium with hospitable staff. It is not lacking at all.
3. Justin's Northwest ISD Stadium-The story of this venue is similar to that of Collins. Even when the stadium was built, I was amazed by its scale. And its location seemed so random at the time. I don't know much about the area, and I didn't realize that I was driving through a growing school district. The best part of this news box is its amount of space. During the major playoffs, there are multiple rooms to meet the needs of the media.
2. Lubbock-Cooper's Pirate Stadium – I have been here twice and I am always amazed by the hospitality here. Even as the head football coach and sports director, Max Kattwinkel gave priority to making the media feel at home in this stadium. They provided a VIP parking space for the media, located directly behind the entrance to the stadium, closest to the press booth. The food spread is great.
1. The Ram Stadium in Mineral Wells-some stadiums make their press seats more like a VIP luxury box. Most members of the media have learned to deal with this issue, but we are working for the media. Maintaining accurate statistics and game-by-game requires focus, and missing a game may mess up the value of the entire game's notes. This is what makes Mineral Wells' news box unique. They built two VIP booths that can accommodate 35 people on each side of the spacious media/reconnaissance area. Food and drinks are usually provided and parking is behind the entrance to the news kiosk stadium. This is my favorite setting of any news kiosk I've been to.
Just like last week, only four teams in the TRN Sports coverage area are still playing. 16 other games across the state have been added to these predictions. One of the games took place on Thursday night, and Hina dominated Refugio in what might be the de facto Class 2A Division I state championship.
Be sure to check out a selection of the rest of the TRN Sports "Experts" panel below.
Rider 21, Lubbock-Cooper 20-The special team spent Rider in the regular season. The raiders focused on cleaning up those mistakes and succeeded. As I told Marty McBride on the ROHO Sports Network, if Rider can score 21 points, I like its chance of winning. If the Raiders can score 28 points, I think they will definitely win. I will give Rider 21 points and a small victory.
Hirschi 38, Springtown 24 – Hirschi made some careless mistakes in the first meeting and almost paid the price. But the Huskies found a way to dig holes, thanks in large part to a special team game. The Huskies played cleaner in the game against Dumars. If they replicate it, then they are two TDs better than Springtown.
Gunter 37, Holliday 21-Gunter is too much. He is characterized by a starting offense that can throw the ball at will. This is a very good Holliday team-one of the best teams in the history of the project. But I'm afraid Gunter is in a league of his own this season.
Albany 21, Windthorst 13 – Windthorst has the best defense in Albany this season. It is the Trojan horse defense that will keep this game interesting. But I can't convince myself to choose a Trojan horse to create anxiety. Albany nearly beat the Trojans last season. The outstanding performance of Windthorst receiver Kyle Wolf (Kyle Wolf) created the winning score. I'm not sure where Windthorst got it when facing Albany's suffocating defense this season.
Southlake Carroll 40, Allen 17-are on the list because these are the two most famous projects in the state, but Carroll is several levels above Allen this season.
Duncanville 43, DeSoto 19-The same reason as Carroll-Allen is here, but again, Duncanville is better.
Mansfield Summit 30, Colleyville Heritage 27-Earlier this season, Heritage ended this great matchup with a 35-34 victory. I want to avenge the jaguar.
College Station 33, Denton Ryan 20-I think Ryan has a better schedule, but College Station's offense averages 53 points per game. Cougars won't score on Ryan, but I believe their offense will score at this stage.
Dallas South Oaks 27, Lucas Lovejoy 26-It feels like a coin flip, but it's worth it to upset Alledo. That's why I chose the Golden Bears. However, Lovejoy's becoming Rider's next opponent is a more interesting story. The three former WFHS head coaches are all in the Leopards staff.
Melissa 32, Stephenville 30-This game made me feel old. Sidney Parker is Melissa's running back coach. When I returned to my hometown to start my career, he was a junior in the first Big Spring Steers team I participated in. This is not why I chose Melissa, but it doesn't hurt. The winner of this victory will be Hirschi or Springtown.
Gilmer 44, Texarkana Pleasant Grove 24-This is one of the best opponents in the state in the past few seasons, but Gilmer is significantly better this season, beating Pleasant Grove 55-14.
China Spring 35, West Orange-Stark 33-Similar to South Oak Cliff's defeat of Aledo, China Spring's 27-17 victory over Carthage is also worth watching.
Mount Vernon 26, West 22 – Which team do I believe will score in the game? The answer is Mount Vernon and an offense averaging 50 points per game.
Lubbock Roosevelt 38, Abernathy 33 – Abernathy's only loss was a 58-56 loss to Roosevelt. The Eagles had a fierce rally before they knocked down the Antelopes. I will give the Eagles an advantage again, although this is not a confident choice. The winner of this game is Holliday or Gunter.
Waskom 34, Daingerfield 22-I predict Waskom will win the Region III-3A Division I in a comfortable way.
Hawley 21, Cisco 7 – Hawley did not play the toughest schedule, but only 6 points per game is impressive. I will accept the defense of the Pandas.
Stratford 28 points, Wellington 10 points-I think the points are a problem with Wellington's scoring in the game against Stratford. The winner of this session will receive Windthorst or Albany.
Mart 47, Chilton 17-It's time to start paying attention to the local Mart again. The Panthers defeated their opponent 54-5 and have already beaten Chilton 56-6.
Strawn 65, Richland Springs 45-The Greyhounds finally surpassed the perennial state championship contender Richland Springs and entered the Class A second league championship.