Expectations for the 2016 Key Matchups in West Texas.
By Nick Alvarado @theroyreport
"As the 2016 football season draws closer, fans are gearing up by looking at their team’s schedule. Some fans plan to travel to other games to catch some of the best area teams. West Texas features a key game every week. I made a list of a few match-ups to watch in the West Texas area, in no particular order.
Garden City renew their district rivalry with Sterling City for the first time since 2009. The Eagles have the all-time series edge, 45-28-2. I think that this game is the district championship in District 6-1ADI. It is no doubt one of the top 10 1A games see. This game is scheduled for October 28 in Sterling City.
If you live in the Panhandle, you have to know Canadian and Stratford make the top games list almost every season. On paper, it looks to be a big matchup. In reality, Canadian has dominated Stratford in the past two meetings, 31-6 and 31-0. The all-time series favors Canadian 17-8-1. This season, Canadian makes the move up to 3A once again and Stratford stays in 2A DI. District game or not, I think this game should be another great one! Canadian obviously thinks this is going to be a blowout because they scheduled it as their homecoming. I can Guarantee the Stratford Elks are taking this personally!
Moving from the Panhandle to the Permian Basin, Odessa Permian faces cross-town rival Odessa high on October 28 at Ratliff Stadium. The past two meeting have been MOJO taking the bragging rights of Odessa. Odessa hasn’t been ‘red’ since 2013, where OHS edged out Permian 31-28. To me, Permian is on the rise once again after their playoff run last season. They are one of the better teams in Class 6A Region I this year. Odessa Permian leads the all-time series, 45-7-1.
Staying in the Permian Basin, if you ask any Andrews fan, you would get Big Spring as an answer to, “who’s their biggest rival.”. Andrews and Big Spring never disappoint in any sport that they meet in. The rivalry is always exciting and there is always something crucial happening, whatever sport they play. Last season, Andrews took a 60-27 victory against the Steers. The biggest contributor to that victory was special teams. Andrews recovered three straight onside kicks and all three possessions resulted in six points. I’ve seen the past two meetings and the excitement fuels this rivalry. Andrews will have returning all-state QB Tristan Williams, who is one of the best quarterbacks in the Permian Basin. The two teams are scheduled to play in Big Spring on September 23.
Two of the best teams in the South Plains will take the field once again. Shallowater and Muleshoe will be in the same district and will face-off against each other November 4, in Muleshoe. Muleshoe will have their new star, WR Jason Florez to lead the way for the Mules. The same two teams played in the playoffs last year, with Shallowater being victorious. I think This game will be the district championship.
Another matchup in the South Plains is the “Davis Bowl,” as both Davis’ coaches from San Angelo Central and Wolfforth Frenship face-off on October 14. The two teams have only met twice, with San Angelo Central winning both meetings. The Bobcats have had three straight seasons with 10 or more wins. Frenship has been one of the consistent teams in Class 6A, making playoff appearances in every season since 1992. With the teams now placed in the same district, I think that the series could become more competitive with both teams in the same district now. Frenship is also the lone Lubbock area team to be in Class 6A.
Post had one of the best seasons in school history last season, advancing to the area round of the playoffs with a 11-1 record. After realignment, they drop to 2A DI and see a tough district they are in. On October 14, the Bulldogs of Stamford come into town in a massive district opener. With combined records of 21-3 last season, this game will have statewide attention. To me, this district game will be tough to pick out on paper. This entire district will be tough to pick out with every game day filled with entertaining games. No doubt this will be on the list.
Noting tough districts, District 5-1ADI is a tough district and will feature great games every week. Ira and Borden County take the field in Ira on October 21. In my view, this game is like a second district title game. With Hermleigh a heavy contender for the title, Ira and Borden County are also title contenders and will be important to the district race. I would expect Borden County with a victory, but will be by a narrow margin.
With West Texas being one of the toughest regions in Texas, every game on Friday night will be critical for every team."
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