Football in Texas is more than just a sport, it's a way of life. The culture surrounding high school football in the Lone Star State is unparalleled, and we want to show you the stories you don't get to see before that first snap of every game.
KVUE will visit a Central Texas high school football program throughout the 2021 season for the entire week leading up to Friday night's game day. You'll hear from the student-athletes, coaches, and the communities these programs represent to get an inside look how Texas high school football is simply different than any other state.
Episodes of "Before the Snap: Texas HS football stories" will be posted weekly on KVUE's YouTube channel. Alright, folks ... lights ... camera ... action!
Editor's note: Hank Cavagnaro, Jake Garcia and Brian Bell contributed to production of this episode.
Pflugerville Panthers star running back Elijah Oakmon has been starting for four years, quarterback Jaylon Reeves lost his parents to COVID-19 four days within each other in February and coach Charles Taylor leads his first senior class since he took over the program. Tune in Monday for the final episode of "Before The Snap."
Editor's note: Hank Cavagnaro, Jake Garcia and Tom Rapp contributed to production this episode.
For the second episode, KVUE visited Del Valle High School. Del Valle takes on Stony Point High School in week two, and first-year head coach Bobby Acosta is focused on building the culture of his program with the Cardinals.
Acosta comes to Del Valle from the nationally-recognized IMG Academy in Florida, where the team ended as the consensus No. 1 team in the nation and the title of "national champs." Acosta told KVUE's Jeff Jones in April that he was looking for a more traditional high school football experience, like in the Lone Star State.
Editor's note: Hank Cavagnaro, Jake Garcia, Brian Bell and Jackson Grimm contributed to production this episode.
For the first week, KVUE visited Liberty Hill High School. Liberty Hill opens its 2021 season against Ellison High School. The Panthers are coming off a playoff run dedicated to their late head coach, Jeff Walker. Walker's brother, Kent Walker, was named interim head coach and is now the team's next full-time head coach entering his first season leading the Panthers.
Liberty Hill advanced all the way to the 5A state semifinals, but lost 62-61 in overtime to Crosby after failing on a two-point conversion attempt to win the game.
Liberty Hill is known for its unique slot-T offense, which is heavily run-based. The offense, however, will be run by 11 new faces. Every single starting player for the Panthers on offense in 2020 was a senior.
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