Friday Night Lights, Houston Style: The Difference Between High School Football In Texas And Pennsylvania

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Photos by Paul Knight

Hair Balls traveled to a high school football game this weekend with a native Pennsylvanian to see how high school football in that state matches up against high school football in Texas. We went to Rosenberg to watch a Saturday night match up between the B.F. Terry Rangers and the Bay City Blackcats.

In our first 4-A game of the year, Terry beat a struggling Bay City 17-0 in a fairly uneventful night. But the game was Terry's homecoming and, apart from our first week in Katy, it was the largest home crowd we've seen at a game, surprising for a Saturday night.

We were told that the game play didn't look much different than an average game in Pennsylvania. (It might not mean much, but there are more professional football players from one high school in Pittsburgh than any one high school in Texas. Pennsylvania, however, doesn't crack the Top 10 in professional players per capita, where Texas is ranked ninth.) But, judging from Saturday night's game, there were several areas where things don't match up.

1. Stadium. The game was at Guy K. Traylor Stadium, a 12,000-seat facility in Rosenberg. It's a little bigger than most stadiums in Pennsylvania, but not much. Our companion, however, had never seen anything like Ken Hall Stadium in Fort Bend County. The differences were that tracks around the field aren't common in Pennsylvania, and fans there are allowed to watch the games from the grass surrounding the field, in front of the stands. Also, "I've never seen a concession stand under the bleachers."

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Packed at Traylor Stadium.

2. Halftime. Both Terry and Bay City put on nice halftime performances, complete with large bands, drill teams and flag corps. Apparently, that's not the norm at every high school in Pennsylvania. "All we have are cheerleaders and a band," we were told.

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Terry high school performs at halftime.

3. Homecoming. Terry's homecoming wasn't the most outlandish we've ever seen, but there were plenty of gaudy mums and garters hanging from dresses and button-up shirts. We can't speak for every high school in Pennsylvania, but at Pennridge High School outside of Philadelphia, there isn't a homecoming dance and they don't wear mums or garters. "It looks like a lot more money goes into all this."

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Terry cheerleaders' mums.

For additional photos, check out our slideshow.

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