Picking the top Texas Panhandle high school football games of the year
It's hard to believe, but football season is already here again. As such, it's time for us to pick out our most exciting games of each week.
Keep in mind, this is what we're expecting as of right now.
Shawn and I both know a lot can change as the season goes on. Some teams could earn the Game of the Week title every week with the schedules that they've lined out. For now, though, this is what we've come up with.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the top games of the prep football season.
Hart: Tascosa vs. Palo Duro — Tascosa has been one of the top Class 5A teams for years, but is replacing a lot of talent. Palo Duro has struggled for years, but is coming off a solid year and returned most of its contributors.
Shawn: Clarendon vs. Panhandle — This matchup features two of the top overall players throughout the region when Landyn Hack's Panhandle Panthers host Jmaury Davis and the Clarendon Broncos to kickstart the season.
Six-man Game of the Week: White Deer at Groom.
Keep an eye on: Dumas vs. Lubbock-Cooper, Caprock vs. Hereford, Shamrock vs. Sundown, Bushland at West Plains
Hart: Canadian at Bushland — Two of the most consistent teams in all of Class 3A will seek to earn bragging rights over the other early on.
Shawn: Tascosa vs. Midland Legacy at WTAMU — Tascosa finds its way onto the list for the second straight week with a matchup against Class 6A powerhouse Midland Legacy at West Texas A&M. Midland Legacy has won this head-to-head in three straight years.
Six-man Game of the Week: Follett at Happy.
Keep an eye on: Caprock vs. Palo Duro, Vega at Farwell, Stratford at Sunray.
Hart: Canyon vs. West Plains — West Plains is literally a brand new team. And, with just three starters back on both sides of the ball, Canyon basically is too. This should be a good measuring stick to determine where each of them are in the building proccess
Shawn: Gruver at Stratford — Stratford handed Gruver its only regular season loss last season (35-0) and the Greyhounds will undoubtedly be looking to return the favor to a talented Elks team coming off a 2A D-II state title.
Six-man Game of the Week: Happy at Springlake-Earth.
Keep an eye on: Pampa at Caprock, Dumas at Perryton, Childress at Panhandle.
Hart: Holliday at Childress — Two teams that only lost one game a piece last year? Yeah, that's a game to watch.
Shawn: Wellington at Spearman — The Skyrockets are coming off a Region I-2A D-II final berth and are looking forward to the challenge that the 3A D-II Lynx pose in the first year of the post-Brenen Thompson era.
Six-man Game of the Week: Valley at Nazareth.
Keep an eye on: Muleshoe at Tulia, Tascosa at Hereford, Caprock at Canyon.
Hart: Amarillo High vs. Tascosa at WTAMU — This one very well may determine the winner of the district. Even if it doesn't, a Jameson Garcia offense versus an Avion Carter defense should be fun to watch regardless.
Shawn: Palo Duro at Randall — The Dons and Raiders will meet for the first time in two years. The Raiders will be looking to extend their 12-game win streak over Palo Duro while Eric Mims and Co. will be aiming for their first win over Randall since 2006.
Six-man Game of the Week: Groom at McLean.
Keep an eye on: Lubbock Estacado at West Plains, Bushland at Dumas, Gruver at Spearman.
Hart: Stratford at Perryton — Watching Stratford's Zane Burr run against Perryton's Bryan Chacon is reason enough to watch.
Shawn: Amarillo High vs. Caprock — A local District 2-5A D-I rivalry battle between two tough programs at Dick Bivins Stadium makes it easy to stay in town this week.
Six-man Game of the Week: Miami at Groom.
Keep an eye on: Borger at Pampa, Randall at Canadian, Dumas vs. El Paso Austin at Odessa.
Hart: Dumas at Randall — The dominant Demon defense against the Nathan Baker-led offense of Randall should make for a 4A match to remember.
Shawn: Canadian at Childress — The Bobcats controlled this game last fall in a 34-13 win to cap off their regular season unbeaten. This year, the feared Wildcats are back as one of the most talented teams at the 3A D-II level and will be looking for revenge in a game that will go a long way towards deciding the District 3-3A D-II champion.
Six-man Game of the Week: Nazareth at Miami.
Keep an eye on: Amarillo High at Lubbock Cooper, Farwell at Stratford, Shamrock at Wellington.
Hart: Gruver at Vega — The winner could very well go on to become the champion of District 1-2A D-II.
Shawn: Panhandle at Stratford — The defending Class 2A Division II state champion Elks will host Panhandle and Preseason Player of the Year Landyn Hack in a new District 1-2A D-I rivalry matchup that could ultimately decide the new district champion.
Six-man Game of the Week: Follett at Wildorado.
Keep an eye on: Hereford at Canyon, Sanford-Fritch at Farwell, Randall at Pampa.
Hart: Randall at Canyon — Perhaps the biggest rivalry in the area will feature two teams needing to replace a lot of losses. With this game coming so late in the year, they should both have things figured out by this time.
Shawn: Tascosa vs. Caprock — This Thursday night showcase between two Amarillo programs and district rivals makes for appointment viewing. How much have the Longhorns improved? Can Tascosa keep their area domination going? Those are some questions that may be answered in this one.
Six-man Game of the Week: Happy at Nazareth.
Keep an eye on: Wichita Falls at Palo Duro, Pampa at Dumas, Friona at Canadian.
Hart: Clarendon at Shamrock — Two of the best smaller schools in the area in the penultimate week of the regular season makes for an enticing matchup.
Shawn: Dumas at Canyon — Aaron Dunnam's dominant Demon defense travels to Canyon, while Todd Winfrey and the Eagles aim for their first win over Dumas since 2016.
Six-man Game of the Week: White Deer at Follett.
Keep an eye on: Perryton at Borger, Randall at Hereford, Abilene Wylie at Palo Duro, Abilene High at Amarillo High.
Hart: Boys Ranch at Booker — Both teams have struggled to find wins in recent years. With Aaron Wampler in year two at Boys Ranch and Nic Williams taking over at Booker, the future is bright for both. Juice Williams with Booker and Rowdy Barnes with Boys Ranch should make for a defensive battle.
Shawn: Farwell at Panhandle — This one went down to the wire last season with the Panthers prevailing 36-35 in a comeback victory that left a bad taste in Farwell's mouth. Can they answer back this fall?
Six-man Game of the Week: Miami at White Deer.
Keep an eye on: Sunray at Vega, Wellington at Clarendon, Canyon at Pampa.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Picking the top Texas Panhandle high school football games of the year