41ºF

Meet the rivals going head-to-head for this season's first Friday Football Frenzy

The first Friday Football Game of the Week is a big rivalry against St. Thomas High School and Strake Jesuit High School.
The first Friday Football Game of the Week is a big rivalry against St. Thomas High School and Strake Jesuit High School.

HOUSTON – The first Friday Football Game of the Week is a big rivalry against St. Thomas High School and Strake Jesuit High School.

The game will take place at Clay Stadium at 8900 Bellaire Boulevard at 7 p.m. Friday.

ST. THOMAS HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT STUDENT-ATHLETE

Linebacker Cooper Thomas is a senior captain at St. Thomas High School.

He’s a standout on the football field and in the classroom, a great student and a contender for valedictorian of his graduating class.

“He’s got all the chops in the classroom," said Athletic Director Mike Netzel. "He does a wonderful job being a leader with his teammates and he’s a fantastic football player."

It’s the little things school and football have taught him that have given Thomas the opportunity he’s always dreamed of. 

“I would say the work ethic is both, doing homework and going to practice every day," said Thomas. "You just always have to work on the little things."

Next year, Thomas will head off to Columbia University, working hard every step of the way.

“I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to play at the next level, especially at a great academic school like Columbia and earn an Ivy League education,” said Thomas. “I’m always working for my family. I want to make my parents proud, of course. They’ve given me so much and I want to give back to them."

Thomas won also state championship in track and field last year.

STRAKE JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL FAMILY TRADITION

Under the Friday night lights at Strake Jesuit High School, it's more than football, it’s a family tradition.

There have been about 10 pairs of brother playing for the same coach in the last few years and the younger brothers are in the spotlight this season.

“It was a fun experience being on the same field as my brother, under the lights on Friday night,” said senior Nick Cassapo. “I feel I have some big shoes to fill, so hopefully I’ll fill those in this year."

Junior Jayce Bordelon said his brother showed him what it takes.

“A lot of why I play in the first place was because he really paved that way for me," Bordelon said. "He showed me the sport and the beauty of playing it and what it gave you really."

Sophomore Joel Crawford is ready for the season and is ready to follow in his brother's footsteps.

“He grew as a person, as a man," Crawford said. "For me to be here, there are some big shoes to fill, but it’s a pretty big deal for our family."

Coach Klay Kubiak was looking forward to seeing their growth.

“When they see their brother come here and become a strong young man and become a good student-athlete, they want to be here,” said Kubiak. “Nothing brings me more joy than seeing these families come through and these brothers come through in kinda generations.”

Klay Kubiak is the son of Gary Kubiak, head coach of the Houston Texans.