Writing South Plains High School’s Best Football Games of the Season

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Trying to figure out which game should be considered the best for each week of high school football is a difficult task for one person. It was definitely for Stephen and myself.

Some weeks we would agree that a certain game was the best, others there would be multiple contenders. To settle things, we organized a draft. Yes, a draft. We are athletes, after all.

The result was that each of us picked our best games from each week. Stephen had his choice and I had mine. We ignored the classifications and looked at the facts. What is the story behind each game? Will the game be competitive? What are the potential implications attached to the competition?

Here’s how our draft went and our picks for the best high school football games of the season.

WEEK 1

Stefan: Trinity Christian in Albany – This first game features a TAPPS State runner-up and the #1 team from Class 2A, Division II. Need I say more?

Nathan: Lubbock-Cooper at Dumas – Two of the most incredibly consistent teams in West Texas, with the top-ranked team hitting the road to start the season.

Six-man game of the week: Springlake-Land to Whitharral

Keep an eye on: Farwell at New Deal, Childress at Abernathy, Frenship at Coronado

WEEK 2

Nathan: New Deal at Idalou — The definition of longevity could just as well include New Deal and Idalou. It will be a good test for both teams adapting, with New Deal having lots of new faces and Idalou having a new coach.

Stefan: Shallow waters in Seminole –The Mustangs’ defense will get an early look at one of the most pass-happy teams they’ve seen all season. A Seminole victory would be a huge boost for a team entering the year with high expectations.

Six-a-side game of the week: Klondike to Jayton

Keep an eye on: Roosevelt to Hawley, Lubbock Christian to Wellington, Trinity Christian to Clarendon

WEEK 3

Stefan: Happy in Springlake-Earth – The teams will meet for the third time in two seasons after splitting the series in 2021. The Cowboys’ upset against SE in the first round spurred a run to the state semifinals.

Nathan: Sunset at Farwell — Neither team is chosen to win their district, but Sundown and Farwell can easily be on top by the end of the season. A good type of game to build momentum.

Keep an eye on: Coronado to Wichita Falls Rider, Amarillo Palo Duro to Estacado, Abernathy to Denver City

WEEK 4

Nathan: Wichita Falls to Lubbock-Cooper Rider — The rivalry between the Rider and Cooper will continue even though they are no longer in the same neighborhood. The stakes will be much lower in this meeting, but the intensity should still be there.

Stefan: Westbrook at the spur — The Bulldogs dream of a state championship. They will know how close they are after a clash with the reigning Class 1A Division I champions.

Keep an eye on: New Deal at Trinity Christian, Andrews at Seminole, Frenship at Abilene High

WEEK 5

Stefan: New home in Roscoe – The Leopards’ final tune-up before the district game is against a team that finished 9-2 a year ago. If New Home is not tested this week, it will be later.

Nathan: Seagraves at Ralls – By the time this game rolls around, Seagraves should have their new passing offense sorted and Ralls’ young players should have their feet soaked. Which team will be more advanced in the district game?

Six-a-side game of the week: Spur to Anton

Keep an eye on: Idalou to Shallowwater, Abernathy to Muleshoe, Estacado to Canyon West Plains

WEEK 6

Nathan: Brownfield at Muleshoe – A rematch of their tight bi-district playoff game last season. Both teams will try to correct their flaws in the last out-of-district game for both teams.

Stefan: Coronado in Lubbock-Cooper – Each week in District 2-5A DI features at least one Mega Match. This also happens to be the Pirates’ first league match.

Six-a-side game of the week: Spur to Jayton

Keep an eye on: Slaton to Friona, Denver City to Trinity Christian, Levelland to Dalhart

WEEK 7

Stefan: Abernathy to Idalou – If the rivalry alone isn’t intriguing enough, add the fact that it could decide the district title. Playoff seeding is always key when facing District 3-3A D-II.

Nathan: Midland Legacy at Frenship — The Tigers have missed the playoffs for the past two years. Kicking off the 2-6A game against district favorites Legacy will be a good yardstick to see if Frenship can break this dry spell.

Six-man game of the week: Rankin to Sands

Keep an eye on: Lubbock-Cooper to Amarillo High, Canyon West Plains to Seminole, Abernathy to Idalou

WEEK 8

Nathan: Andrews to Estacado – Estacado won three consecutive district titles. Andrews is Dave Campbell’s Texas Football pick to win the district this year. The Matadors can prove the prediction wrong early on.

Stefan: Olton at sunset — The top of District 2-2A DI will be fierce. Is this a battle for second place, or is this the de facto title game? Either way, there’s a lot on the line.

Six-a-side game of the week: Anton at Springlake-Land

Keep an eye on: Roosevelt to Abernathy, Graham to Snyder, Amarillo High to Coronado

WEEK 9

Stefan: Shallow Water in Bushland “It would be a shock if the district championship wasn’t decided tonight at Falcon Stadium. Both teams start the season ranked in 3A DI.

Nathan: Jayton in Motley County “Things are always interesting when Jayton and Motley County go head-to-head. How high will they be ranked? Who will have the advantage to get to Jerry World? Lot in play with several weeks to play.

Keep an eye on: Idalou to Roosevelt, New Deal to Olton, Lockney to Ralls

WEEK 10

Nathan: Monterey to Coronado – This could end up being a crucial game for both teams to stay or assert their place in the playoff table. The winner, ideally, should still have a chance in the playoffs.

Stefan: Rankin in Borden County – One way or another, a power program is going to be kicked out of the playoffs in District 6-1A DI. The winner here should feel good to have at least made the playoffs.

Keep an eye on: Estacado in Big Spring, Sundown in New Deal, Amarillo Tascosa in Lubbock-Cooper

WEEK 11

Etienne: Slaton at Brownfield – The two had a one-point game last season, with the Cubs coming away with a 14-6 victory. The contest could once again prove important for the playoff standings.

Nathan: Amarillo Palo Duro at Plainview “If the district breaks down as expected, this could very well be a win-win situation and you are in the situation. The Bulldogs and Dons have been playing barn burners the past few years and with some long playoff droughts (PD last did in 2014, Plainview in 2017) it could be HUGE.

Six-man game of the week: Nazareth to Wildorado

Keep an eye on: Farwell to Panhandle, Coronado to Amarillo Tascosa, Ropes to New Home

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