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Football: The Heart of Texas

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The Klein High School Varsity Team gets ready for a game

The Klein High School Varsity Team gets ready for a game

Riley Brown

Riley Brown

The Klein High School Varsity Team gets ready for a game

Bennett Harris, Staff Writer

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In the state of Texas, football is equivalent to oxygen. From little league, to junior high, to high school, countless athlete’s suit up and give their very best. Here in Texas the standards are very high.  With movies such as “Friday Night Lights”, “North Dallas Forty”, to the TV show “Friday Night Tykes” all taking place in Texas the state is popularized by football.

It’s not just a random coincidence either. Texas has produced some of the greatest teams, coaches, and athletes to play the sport of football.

Hall of Famer Earl Campbell, aka The Tyler Rose, from Tyler Texas.  In college Campbell earned All- Southwest conference honors every year, and won the Heisman in 1977. Following the first pick in the 1978 draft he immediately dominated. He won that years MVP award, Rookie of the year award, the leagues rushing championship, and was elected all pro. At the end of his career he racked up a total of 9,407 rushing yards, 74 touch downs, and 121 receptions. Campbell started the legend of great Texas running backs.

Campbell was followed by Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes.  Head coach and former player Tom Landry from Mission, Texas, won coach of the year in 1966 and 1975. He led the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl five times, winning it twice. He holds the record for most career wins in Cowboy history with 250.

Consistent nationally ranked team, the Katy High School Tigers. Hailing from Katy, Texas, the tigers have a 33 game winning streak from 1997 to 1999,   12 undefeated seasons, 25 ten or more winning seasons, all time playoff record of 74-16, 14 time state finalist, and 7 time state champions.  They are also ranked by Bleacher Report as the second most dominate high school in the country.

These are just some of the great football stories from Texas that draw attention. Not only is Texas successful on the high school level, Texas has 12 division 1 college football teams.

Three are ranked in the top 25 in the nation (as of October 6th). Texas A&M ranked 14th, Texas Christian University (TCU) ranked fourth, and Baylor University ranked fifth.  Two other Texas schools are ranked top 40 in the nation. Texas Tech University ranked 31st, Houston University 32nd. Unranked now but the former power house University of Texas has gifted the NFL with unbelievable talent.

With the likes of Campbell, Ricky Williams, Jamal Charles, Brian Orakpo, and Vince Young.  Texas is a football crazy state. Currently the face of Texas football is JJ Watt. He is a two time NFL defensive player of the year award winner, MVP candidate, and only man to record two 20 plus sack seasons in a career. Watt was voted the best player in the NFL by current NFL athletes during the yearly NFL Network show “100 best players of the season”

In this state, football is more than just a game.  It has become so natural here that football is imprinted in our weekly lives. We spend Friday nights under the high school lights, Saturday at our respective college campus, and Sunday tuned in to either the Cowboys or Texans.

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Football: The Heart of Texas