The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of High School Football

I attended the second round playoff game between Houston Memorial and Fort Bend Willowridge last night at Tully Stadium.

The Good
Two teams that have worked hard all season, including a win in the first round of the playoffs square off to see whose state championship dreams stay alive. The game featured some great plays – excellent effort by the players – and tons of excitement for the fans. The Memorial Mustangs played solid mistake-free football enroute to a 24-7 victory.

The Bad
The game started to get out of hand early in the fourth quarter and a couple of bad apples on the Willowridge squad started talking trash to the fans, the officials and the other team. The officials did nothing! It was their responsibility to keep the game in control and once they started letting these offenses go unflagged, thing escalated. It was then that I was telling my friend, “If these officials don’t start throwing flags for this nonsense right now, someone is going to get hurt.”

The Ugly
As the game wound down and it was obvious that Willowridge was not going to win, the trash talking turned into late hits and outright thuggery. On five different occasions, the play had been blown dead when a Willowridge player would haul off and flatten a Memorial kid who was walking back to the huddle. It finally culminated in a cheap shot in the back of the leg which resulted in a long medical timeout while they helped the poor kid off the field. THEN, the officials called a penalty.

What was supposed to be a memory of a lifetime for these student athletes turned into a bad dream for at least one kid and left a sour taste for the thousands involved.

FINAL THOUGHT – My friend and I have picked a different game each week from the top teams in the state and seen a ton of great teams. We have seen courageous play, valiant efforts and the pure excitement of Texas high school football. We have seen a lot of good during this and previous seasons. This is NOT the norm.

8 Comments so far

  1. mhsalum (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2004 @ 11:30 pm

    that is the first time i’ve heard about memorial having a good team in years.
    when i attended in the early to mid-90s, they were horrible…..

  2. Gabriel Armsted (unregistered) on October 9th, 2005 @ 2:29 pm


    I am a graduate of Willowridge High School, I would like for every one who has read this statment above that yes this is true but, the antics that were displayed this game is is not a reflection of the value of education at Willowridge. I know that when people of the white community will look at this and think that we are demon children, but as a graduate I attend Morehouse College, and several other students are working to better them selves. So in essence do not judge this book by its cover.

    Thank you,
    Gabriel Armsted
    Willowridge High School c/o 2005

  3. HouDog (unregistered) on October 9th, 2005 @ 2:53 pm

    Whoa… there is no mention of race in the post and certainly none was implied. When you bring up race by assuming that “when people of the white community will look at this and think that we are demon children,” you are being racist.

    Just as you do not want to be judged by your color – people of the white community do not want to be judged by their color. Assuming that white people always jump to racist conclusions is reprehensible.

    In the post, no colors were mentioned and none were implied. I pointed out that a team that was losing starting taking cheap shots and acting like thugs. Thugs come in all colors – cheap shots are taken by all colors. By assuming I meant black thugs – you are perpetuating a stereotype you are trying to stop.

    There is nothing in my post that is untrue or biased. I did not assuault the values of Willowridge High School. I did not suggest that everyone from WHS is a thug. I told the tale of a couple of “bad apples,” and if you will read the post objectively, placed the responsibility FIRMLY in the hands of the poor officiating. (Of which there were black and white.)

    I assert that you should learn to “read” a book before prejudging it.

  4. R. Busch (unregistered) on December 4th, 2005 @ 10:53 pm

    Standards at Willowridge have slipped, the students are for the most part sub-standard, and I think there is nothing wrong with “calling-out” play and players that have gone beyond the pale! A team is a reflection of its coaches and coaching what happned on the night above described speaks for itself.

  5. mwilliams (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2006 @ 1:20 am

    houdog, why did you become so defensive when responsing to gabriel’s comment? you were never accused of doing anything or being racist, but the tone of your reply seems so hostile. i am also a graduate of willowridge high school, and i believe that gabriel made the comment about race because willowridge high school is the only predominantly black school in fort bend, and students are often being racially stereotyped as “thugs”. im not sure what part of houston you live in or where you are from, but if you lived in the missouri city area, you would have a slight idea of what im referring to, and maybe you would have thought twice before using the word “thug”, or maybe not, its your editorial, you can say what you please. i belive there was simply a misunderstanding between yourself and gabriel. im quite sure he wasn’t attempting to call you racist, he was simply trying to stick up for himself and his schoolmates, while clearing up some of the misconceptions about willowridge students.gabriel assumed that you were one of those people stereotyping willowridge students because unfortunately, it happens all too often.

  6. HouDog (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2006 @ 9:14 am

    No, I do not live anywhere near the area and no nothing of the Willowridge folks “often being racially stereotyped.” I am sorry if this is true… but it has nothing to do with me. I simply saw students acting like thugs and spoke out about it.

    To assume my post or response is hostile is simply projecting your own sensibilities into the situation. My response should be read the same way you expect me to read Gabriel’s post… in a pleasant, informational tone.

    PS. Reread my response in that happy tone and see if there are any a) fallacies in the post or b) hostilities in the post.

  7. D Johnson (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2006 @ 5:10 pm


    I too am a Willowridge graduate. Do not fret, I fully support your opinions and your patience with my sensitive fellow alumni. As you may already discerned, by the lack of a relevant and structured argument along with incomplete sentences, and total lack of capitalization of letters in there responses, they are young and naive.
    Your original post as you have eloquently stated did not refer to race nor did it exhibit implied hostility. As a matter of fact, you found more disgust in the officials, (I personally would place greater disappointed with the Willowridge coaching staff) for allowing the escalation of petty acts of disorderly conduct.

    In time they will understand that “thugs” and

  8. mwilliams (unregistered) on January 10th, 2006 @ 11:42 pm

    djohnson, i don’t appreciate you judging my comment simply because i strayed away from using capitalization or my sentence structure. i did not deem this to be a formal setting, and i wrote freely. i apologize. i am not young. if you haven’t heard, women do not like to reveal their age, but i graduated from willowridge a good while ago. i agree with everything houdog has said, and i also agree with you. i just did not think that it was necessary for him to attack each part of gabriel’s comment and then call him a racist. gabriel IS young, and he just didn’t know any better. maybe hostile was the wrong word of choice, and for that i apologize.
    p.s. please look past the lower case letters :), and you used the word “there” in your comment where you should have used “their” instead :)

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