The marquee match-up of the weekend for Texas fans is Saturday's Metroplex showdown between host Cedar Hill and visiting DeSoto. Both enter the 2009 season with 5A state title dreams with Cedar Hill fielding one of the top ranked teams in state.
Daingerfield is beginning its 2A state title defense by making a short trip northeast to take on Atlanta.
One of the top games on a yearly basis in the 5A ranks is Lufkin and Tyler Lee. The two East Texas powers will do battle on Friday night in Lufkin.
In Frankston, Traylon Shead will begin his race towards the national rushing record books. Shead needs 3,639 yards to become the nation's all-time career rushing record holder.
Here is a look at the zero week schedule of the future Longhorns.
Alief Taylor plays host to Houston Bellaire on Thursday, 7pm at Crump Stadium. De'Aires Cotton looks to improve on his total of four sacks and help lead Taylor back to the playoffs. Bellaire is led by one of the top offensive weapons in the Houston area Adrian Nelson (6-4, 195).
Haltom makes the short trip East on Thursday to take on Irving Nimitz at 7pm at Irving Schools Stadium. Reggie Wilson looks to improve on his junior totals of 74 tackles and nine sacks. Irving Nimitz is led by junior quarterback/athlete J.J. Gaines (5-10, 170, 4.5) and Oklahoma safety commit Eddrick Loften.
The Garland Owls kick-off the 2009 season at Sprague Stadium against Dallas Kimball on Friday at 7:30pm. Garland features two future Longhorns in standout linebacker Tevin Jackson and jack-of-all-trades Adrian Phillips. Dallas Kimball features junior defensive tackle Isiah Nor (6-5, 285).
Naaman Forest plays host to an ultra talented Whitehouse team Friday, 7:30pm at Williams Stadium. Future Longhorn John Harris will take snaps under center as a senior after being one of the top receivers in the Metroplex as a sophomore and junior. Whitehouse is one of the more talented teams in the 4A ranks featuring juniors Trey Metoyer, Quincy Aldridge, quarterback Preston Conder, defensive tackle Joey Gautney as well as senior safety Jermaine Kennedy.
Tyler John Tyler makes the trip Northeast to take on Texas High on Friday at 7:30pm. This is a non-district rivalry that has picked up steam in recent years. This year, the Lions look to continue their upward trend behind the play of Texas commit Ashton Dorsey, quarterback Jeremy Johnson (SMU commit) and junior receiver David Bush (5-9, 165, 4.5). Texas High is led by quarterback Nathan Sorenson (Oklahoma State commit), safety Montrae Williams and junior running back Cody Sutton (5-8, 185). Texas High went 9-2 in 2008.
On Friday, the Lufkin Panthers begin their season by playing host to Tyler Lee at 7:30pm. Carrington Byndom will lead the defense for the "Pack", while Tyler Lee features junior receiver Marquise Moseley (6-4, 185). Byndom may be held out of the game due to a minor injury.
Cedar Park plays host to Austin Westlake on Friday at 7:30pm. Texas commit Dominic Espinosa teams with senior defender Holmes Onwukaife as well as junior linebacker Chet Moss and offensive tackle Spencer Drango to form one of the more talented teams in Central Texas. Cedar Park went 6-5 last season.
Denton Guyer begins their 2009 season making a trip south to take on Carrollton Newman Smith on Friday, 7:30pm at Standridge Stadium. Guyer, led on defense by future Longhorn Taylor Bible, advanced to the 4A state semi-finals in 2008. With the return of junior quarterback J.W. Walsh, the Wildcats enter 2009 with state title dreams. Guyer went 12-3 in 2008.
Defending 4A state champs Sulphur Springs hits the road to take on 3A Paris on Friday at 7:30pm. Bryant Jackson, who will lineup at corner in 2009, is coming off a junior season in which he recorded 100 tackles and five interceptions. Sulphur Springs went 14-2 last season with losses to Longview and Texas High.
Defending state champs Daingerfield plays host to Atlanta on Friday at 7:30pm. Texas commit Chris Jones totaled 1,390 yards and 18 scores a year ago. The offensive leader for the Tigers is junior quarterback Tyler Boyd (5-9, 175), who passed and rushed for 3,300 yards in 2008. Daingerfield went 15-1 last season.
Cayuga hits the road on Friday to take on Frankston at 7:30pm. Traylon Shead enters the 2009 season with 7,594 career rushing yards needing 3,639 yards in 2009 to break the long-standing national rushing record. Cayuga went 13-3 in 2008 and begins the season ranked #1.
St. Pius X makes the short trip to Butler Complex on Friday to take on Houston Westbury at 7:30pm. Texas commit Greg Daniels and 2011 rising star Kolby Griffin are two of the top defensive prospects in the Houston area.
Second Baptist plays host to the Sealy Tigers on Friday at 7pm. Connor Wood is coming off of a 2,248-yard season through the air with 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Sealy features senior running back Dexter Downey, who rushed for 1,070 yards as a junior.
Cedar Hill plays host to DeSoto on Saturday at 6pm. The game will feature future Longhorns Aaron Benson, Adrian White and Darius Terrell as well as top 2011 prospects quarterback Driphus Jackson (Cedar Hill), tight end/tackle Marcus Hutchins (DeSoto), quarterback Ryan Polite (DeSoto) and receiver David Porter of DeSoto.
North Shore makes the trip West on I-10 to take on defending state champs Katy on Saturday, 7pm at Rhodes Stadium. Future Longhorn Trey Hopkins teams with junior Sedrick Flowers to form one of the top tackle combos in all of high school football. Saturday will mark the first game at Katy for junior running back Donovonn Young who played at Humble as a sophomore.
Graham (Case McCoy) is open. The Steers begin play on September 4 at Clyde.