HS football: Saturday Night Game of the Week slated for Lobo Stadium
June 19, 2012 at 11 p.m.
Eight 2011 playoff teams will make up the lineup for the inaugural season of the KYKX Saturday Night Game of the Week, a stretch of four games played in September and October at Longview's Lobo Stadium.
The event and the teams - Ore City, Hughes Springs, Arp, West Rusk, Henderson, Gilmer, Jefferson and Harmony - were announced on Tuesday at a press conference at Lobo Stadium.
"This is something we've worked on for two to three years," said Harlan "The Sports Guy" Lobley, sports director with East Texas Radio Group. "We wanted to bring some of the great games played each week to a night and a stadium that everyone could enjoy."
Each of the eight teams have agreed to a two-year deal to play their normally scheduled Friday games at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Lobo Stadium. All games will be broadcast on KYKX 105.7 FM (as well as kykx.com).
According to Lobley, the 2013 schedule will be the same teams playing on the same UIL week (with this year's visiting team being next year's home team). A fifth game could be added this summer, and Lobley said in 2014 the plan is to expand the KYKX Saturday Night Game of the Week to 10 weeks.
"It sounds like a cliché, but this is a dream come true," Lobley said. "I talked with a lot of coaches over the years - John King of Longview, Jeff Traylor of Gilmer, Barry Bowman when he was at Daingerfield - and bent their ears trying to see what needed to be done to make this happen. When they said it could happen 'if' I just knocked out the 'ifs' until we got it done."
One of the sticking points included money typically raised by concessions and program sales, but Lobley said the schools will still earn all of that money. He also said one player from each school will receive a scholarship worth $1,005 after each game.
"The kids are excited," Traylor said. "We try to play at Rose Stadium in Tyler or Lobo Stadium, because if you make the playoffs you are going to end up playing at one of those places eventually."
Jefferson's Jerry Bennett likes the timing of the games.
"It'll be a lot of fun," the veteran head coach said. "Once you get that late in the season, you can be sure the games are going to mean something and you'll have good crowds at a beautiful stadium."
"This is great for East Texas football, for Longview High School and for LISD," King said. "It gives the fans a chance to watch games they wouldn't normally be able to watch."
Gilmer finished 13-1 and advanced to the Class 3A Division II regional finals a year ago. Henderson was 11-3 and played in the Class 3A Division I state semifinals. Arp was 10-3, Harmony 9-3, Ore City 6-5, Hughes Springs 6-6, Jefferson 5-6 and West Rusk 4-7.
(Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lnjsports).