Why is High School Football So Big in Texas, and Why do Fans Take It So Serious?

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Alex PT

High school football is huge in Texas due to its deep-rooted tradition, community pride, and the sheer number of schools. Fans take it seriously because it fosters local identity, and success can lead to scholarships and professional careers, with Texas producing many NFL players.


  • Texas has more high school football players than any other state in the US
  • The state has over 100 high school football stadiums that seat over 10,000 people
  • The Texas High School Football Championships are one of the most popular sporting events in the state
  • According to a survey by the University of Texas at Austin, over 70% of Texans say that they are interested in high school football

Why is High School Football So Big in Texas

High school football is a significant aspect of Texas culture. The fascination with the sport goes beyond the game, transforming into a social spectacle that brings communities together. Below are reasons why high school football is so big in Texas:

1. Tradition

The tradition of football in Texas dates back to the 19th century when it was popularized by universities. Over time, it filtered down to the high schools, becoming a generational tradition. Fans, players, and coaches alike have turned Texas high school football into a deeply entrenched cornerstone of Texas social culture.

2. Community Pride

High school football games in Texas are more than just sports events. They are a chance for community members to showcase their collective pride and spirit. Local schools often rally around their teams, with Friday night games becoming social events that attract large gatherings.

3. Excellent Facilities

Texas invests heavily in its high school football facilities. Some high schools boast stadiums that rival professional ones in size and quality, attracting interest from players and fans, and reflecting the state’s commitment to the sport.

Texas High SchoolStadium Capacity
Allen High School18,000
Legacy Stadium12,000
Alamo Stadium23,000

4. Potential College Scholarships

High school football can provide an avenue for talented athletes to secure scholarships to top universities. This potential future makes the sport more exciting for both players and parents, encouraging more participation.

5. Extensive Media Coverage

In Texas, high school football regularly receives comprehensive coverage from local and national sports media outlets, highlighting not just the games but also the players, their stories, and the drama associated with rivalries. This focused attention further solidifies the importance of high school football in Texas.

6. Competitive Spirit

The competitiveness of football in Texas is second to none. The desire to excel, win championships and possibly create opportunities at the collegiate level fuels the motivation of teams, creating an atmosphere of high excitement.

7. Developing Character and Discipline

Football is often viewed as a platform for teaching life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and resilience. In Texas, where the stakes are high and the competition fierce, these lessons are imparted in abundance.

Why do Fans Take High School Football So Seriously in Texas?

There are several reasons why Texans take high school football so seriously. 

1. Historical Significance

Football in Texas has a history dating back to the late 19th century. The sport has been a crucial part of Texan identity since then, increasing its value in the community. Many Texans have grown up with the sport, further embedding it into their cultural fabric.

2. Community Pride

Each city, town, and school in Texas has its football team that acts as a symbol of local pride. They strive to excel not just for individual glory, but to uplift their entire community. This sense of camaraderie and shared pride makes high school football games immensely important events.

3. Rivalries

Long-standing rivalries between schools add a high-stakes dimension to high school football in Texas. These rivalries often date back several generations and bring an intensity to the sport that involves entire communities, encouraging fans to take the games very seriously.

4. Economic Impact

High school football games draw spectators in large numbers, which significantly boosts the local economy. From ticket sales to merchandise, the sport has become a substantial source of revenue, which, in turn, gets pumped back into education and the community.

5. Pathway to College and NFL

For promising players, high school football can offer a pathway to college scholarships and even a career in the NFL. Families and fans understand this opportunity, further amplifying the stakes and seriousness associated with these games.

Historical SignificanceThe sport’s integrality to Texan identity and history.
Community PrideThe sport acts as a symbol of local pride.
RivalriesThe intense rivalries keep fans engaged and serious.
Economic ImpactRevenue generated boosts local economy and supports education.
Pathway to College and NFLRevenue generated boosts the local economy and supports education.

Why Do Texans Take College Football So Serious?

After extensive research, we’ve highlighted the major reasons why Texans take college football so seriously.

Rivalries: Texas is home to all kinds of unique NFL rivalries. One particular rivalry that has stood the test of time out of all these games taking place all over the state is El Campo vs Bay City High School. The two teams have played each other since 1911, giving them some serious experience when it comes to football and leaving everything on the field during every game.

When it comes down to this game, none of that matters and all that counts are wins and losses – let us just say at least one team always ends up happy after every match between these two!

In Central Texas, you can find a rivalry that goes pretty deep. We’re talking about the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns. Sure their first meeting was in 1893 when these two collided for the second time 29 years later, but it wasn’t until 2011 that these two schools faced off for something else – the 2011 edition of this rivalry which was #86 on ESPN’s Big 12 Big Game countdown at the time.

Love & Passion for The Game: It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, or who’s playing on a Friday night – if you live in Texas and it’s fall, you can bet it’s game day! The energy at Texas high school football games can fill up an entire stadium and there is no better atmosphere than attending a game where everybody comes to enjoy themselves.

Everything is Enormous in Texas: In Texas, everything is bigger – including high school football stadiums. There are ten U.S. states that play the most popular American sport: football. In comparison to their counterparts in other states (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Massachusetts), the stadiums in Texas are much bigger and much more expensive than those in other states.

Whether it’s Cougars Stadium in La Porte (Texas) or Allen Eagle Stadium which seats 18 000 spectators and cost $59 million to build – Texas says, “Go big or go home!”

High School Football Teams In Texas

High School Football Teams In Texas

The Dallas Cowboys, founded in 1960, is one of the most popular teams in the league and have fans scattered in many parts of the United States, giving them the nickname “America’s Team.” They are also one of the most successful, having reached eight Super Bowls, won five, and tied with the San Francisco 49ers for second all-time. 

The first major-league sports team in Texas was also a franchise of the NFL—the Dallas Texans, who joined the league in 1952. The team’s first game, however, proved to be a harbinger for that season—a 24–6 loss at home in front of fans fewer than 18,000 in the then-75,000-seat Cotton Bowls stadium.

Home attendance continued to plummet, dropping to as low as 10,000 for a loss that left the team 0–7. The team owners, unable to meet up payroll, returned the Texans to the league, and the team played the rest of the 1952 season as a team on the road, never to return to Texas. After the season, the NFL officially folded the Texans.

In the same year that the Cowboys entered the NFL, the American Football League (AFL) commenced operations with just two teams in the state—the Houston Oilers and Dallas Texans. The Oilers played at Jeppesen Stadium (now the site of the University of Houston’s TDECU Stadium) while The Texans shared the Cotton Bowl with the Cowboys,

The Texans and Cowboys shared the city and its stadium throughout the season of 1962; while the Texans enjoyed more on-field success, including an AFL title in 1962, the team’s owner Lamar Hunt concluded that Dallas could no longer support two professional football teams and thus moved the Texans to Kansas City, Missouri, where they play to this very day as the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Oilers moved from Jeppesen Stadium to the larger Rice Stadium after the 1964 season, and in 1968 joined baseball’s Houston Astros at the Astrodome. Two years later, in 1966, the merger that the NFL And AFL had agreed on took effect, with all AFL franchises being incorporated into the NFL.

Into the 1990s the Oilers remained at the Astrodome, but the failure of team owner Bud Adams to reach an agreement with the city on a new stadium led to him moving the franchise to Nashville, Tennessee, where it was renamed the Tennessee Titans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does Texas Take High School Football Seriously?

What makes Texas high school football so much bigger than its rivals? The decades-old rivalries, the love of the game, and the “bigger is better” mantra. Texas football rivalries span the whole state and are always long-lasting. Bay City and El Campo are one of the state’s longest-running rivalries.

Is Football a Big Deal in Texas?

Professional football is immensely popular in Texas, and the state is home to two National Football League (NFL) franchises, the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys. In addition to the Texans and Cowboys, two current NFL teams previously played in the state, and one now-defunct NFL team also called the state its home.

Is High School Football Popular in Texas?

Yes, it is. Last year alone, just 11 percent of high schoolers in the United States, making a total of 167,428 students—played the UIL-sanctioned football and the six-man football in Texas. That’s a drastic drop from 2000 when the number stood at 14.5 percent. This trend seems to have also hit younger players.


Football is the national sport in Texas. Texans are born and live for it and this can be clearly seen by the Friday Night Lights experience, it can reel you in when you see a Little 4 year old throwing perfect 30-yard dimes. They are usually recognized and start at a very young age with bond communities and people who gives hope. Nearly every program in the media has at least one example of a high-level college program or a student making the NFL.

Reference 1: Fascinating facts about high school football in Texas (chron.com)

Reference 2: Why is Texas high school football so special? (usafootball.com)

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