In this week's feature,"No Pressure,"
we write about the Katy High School football team and its season leading up to the "Battle at Rhodes," a manufactured game against an opponent flown in from south Florida.
Our sister paper, the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, wrote a similar story from Florida, following the team from Cypress Bay High School before the game. Like Katy, Cypress Bay has been a dominating football team in recent years, but the schools and towns couldn't be more different.
Cypress Bay High is a sprawling new campus with a student population twice as big as Katy's. The school was featured in an MTV reality series last year. The football team is sponsored by Rolex.
Still, the reporter in Broward told us that football in south Florida didn't compare to Texas.
For instance, the Cypress Bay stadium is tiny compared to Rhodes Stadium, the complex in Katy.
Dave Stephenson, the owner of the sports marketing company that brokered the game, visited Cypress Bay months before the event. Stephenson told the players that they hadn't played anywhere like Katy and to expect deafening noise from a blanket of red.
One of the Cypress Bay players grabbed Stephenson at the game during halftime and said, "Mister, you're right, I've never seen anything like this."
It was supposed to be a great experience for the Cypress Bay players to travel to Texas, but one player summed it up after the game: "I couldn't wait to get out of that God-forsaken state and get back home to Florida."
-- Paul Knight