69ºF

Koch: Battle of the State Champs will be battle for H-Town bragging rights!

photo

HOUSTON - Sure, there was plenty of excitement the morning of UIL Realignment back in February.

Teams were finding out what their new districts were going to be, coaches were scrambling around the room trying to fill non-district contests and oh yeah, the news broke that North Shore would be playing California-power De La Salle and Shadow Creek would face off against St. Joseph's Prep in a nationally-televised double-header on the ESPN network.

Texas vs California. Power program vs Power program. The list went on and on of why August 29 would be a hallmark day in Houston.

Then COVID-19 happened and it has seemed like at times the world was coming crashing down. For the longest time the out of state opponents were still planning to come. But Monday, that all came crashing down too.

We won't get De La Salle versus North Shore. We won't get St. Joseph's Prep against Shadow Creek.

Is it disappointing? Of course, what Texas high school football fan wouldn't want to see this caliber of a doubleheader. But now we could be in for a real treat.

The Class 6A Division I reigning champs vs the reigning champs of Class 5A Division I in Week 1.

Do I have your attention now?

It was always known that in 2021, North Shore and Shadow Creek would play against each other at Freedom Field. But that would have been with both programs breaking in new quarterbacks and a plethora of other players gone to the next level. Don't get me wrong there would still be a buzz around that game but not like the 2020 version.

Once the details are hammered out in the next couple of days by the athletic directors and coaches we could be eyeing a golden Friday or Saturday Week 1 season opener - Shadow Creek at North Shore at Galena Park ISD Stadium.

It's not very often you get a pair of defending state champs to open the very next season against each other and a pair of state title game MVPs in the same game.

Dematrius Davis (Auburn-commit) and Kyron Drones (Baylor-commit) would quarterback the squads. Both dual-threat signal-callers who can dash down the field as well as spinning it deep for a score. Then there's Shadow Creek's Jalen Emery (Houston-commit), Terrence Cooks (35 offers). CJ Guidry (18 offers) and Jaylen Lane (12 offers). For North Shore, there's also Shadrach Banks (Texas A&M-commit), Jaeden Roberts (Auburn-commit) and Denver Harris (35 offers) to take note of.

Having a game with this much talent and much more than listed above is a fan's dream.

But it's bigger than just all the high-profile recruits. This is about Houston. The last few months have been hard. Pretty much every major sporting event pushed to the fall. NBA pushed to Orlando for the rest of the season, MLB could maybe not happen at all in 2020. Jobs lost. In-person school cancelled. Stay-at-home orders. Spring sports abolished. Graduations limited. Proms gone.

It's been a lot for the city.

The last two years we got East Side (North Shore) vs West Side (Katy) - which was split. This year we could get champ vs champ.

In the grand scheme of things does a game in Week 1 really affect anything - no - and both coaches would tell you just that. North Shore lost to Katy last season and then went on to rattle off 15-straight wins and capture it's second-straight state title. The Mustangs went 0-3 to start the 2015 season and went on to win 13-straight for that crown.

But there's always bragging rights.

In this meeting, Shadow Creek would try and extend its winning streak to 17-straight and, oh yeah, 32 wins out of the last 33 games played. And get its first win as a Class 6A program. North Shore would look to improve to the same record 32-1 in its last 33 games played.

It may not count towards a district title but to these kids it might as well be the State Championship of Houston come August. Let's just hope we get this game in because we know the kids want it.

We know, in the grander scheme, the city needs it.