May 1, 2010

Herbstreit Series returns to Texas

MORE: USA Football moving to Indianapolis | N.J. High School has two NFL first-rounders

Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

A week after the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series announced its lineup for Ohio, the field is set for the Texas version of the event.

The quadruple-header of high school football is set for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Much like its Ohio counterpart, the Texas version of the event has paired two in-state games as well as two marquee out-of-state games in one fantastic day of football.

"We are looking forward to returning to the city of Arlington," Joseph Salutiro, Senior Account Executive at the event's promoter, Intersport Inc., said via press release. "We are once again proving why this Series is the premier high school football event in the country."

All eight of the teams involved in the event were ranked in the RivalsHigh 100 at one point last season, with five teams ending the season nationally ranked. Additionally, at least five will start the season in the RivalsHigh 100.

The event opens at 10:30 a.m. with an out-of-state game pitting defending Texas Class 5A Division I state champion, Euless (Texas) Trinity, with defending Arkansas Class 4A state champion, Springdale (Ark.) Shiloh Christian.

Trinity finished the 2009 season ranked No. 15 nationally and returns to the Herbstreit event for the third-consecutive season - beating River Ridge (Louis.) John Curtis in 2008 and South Jordan (Utah) Bingham in 2009.

Shiloh Christian ended the 2009 season ranked No. 43 in the RivalsHigh 100 and returns most everyone from its title-winning team. Led by Rivals 250 to Watch member Kiehl Frazier, the Saints look to prove that Arkansas football is on par with the best in Texas.

The second game of the day, set to start at 1:30 p.m., features Cedar Hill (Texas) High taking on Denton (Texas) Guyer.

The Longhorns ended the season ranked No. 51 in the RivalsHigh 100 but will face stiff competition from Denton Guyer. The 2010 season will be the first for the team in Texas 5A, but following a Class 4A run to the semifinals, the high-powered team should be able to make a smooth transition up one class.

Following the all-Texas game is another top-tier game featuring two teams that both were ranked in the Top 5 nationally during the 2009 season: Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas and Dallas (Texas) Skyline.

Aquinas won the 2008 national championship and sat atop the RivalsHigh 100 for much of the 2009 season before losing in the Florida Class 5A semifinals. The Raiders lost 13 players to Division I football and look to reload, facing a very tough Dallas Skyline team that will be looking to rebuild as well.

For head coach Reggie Samples, Dallas Skyline will be very young, losing most all of its starters from 2009. The Raiders climbed to as high as No. 2 in the RivalsHigh 100 before an early playoff exit pushed the team down to No. 90 at season's end.

The conclusion of the event will showcase the best in Arlington, Arlington Bowie, taking on a team from just east of Arlington, DeSoto (Texas) High.

The schools, which are separated by about 20 miles, will square off under the bright lights. Neither team ended the 2009 season ranked in the RivalsHigh 100; however, both are on the early watch list headed into 2010. Bowie made a deep run into the playoffs at the end of 2009 before losing to eventual state champion Abilene High. DeSoto runs a very up-tempo offense and returns its quarterback, Ryan Polite, and its top two receivers.

All four games will be aired live on Fox Sports Southwest. Tickets for the event are currently on sale through the participating schools but will also be made available to the public on Ticketmaster.com and at the stadium box office beginning May 3. Adult tickets will be $15 with student tickets priced at $10. One ticket is good for the entire event, but no re-entry will be permitted.

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