Birthed five years ago out of an idea for top tier competitive play, the Texas Christian Athletic League adds football to their unfolding national championship series. Washington's only national high school affiliated football team - HEIR Football Academy - made the 1,660 mile flight down to Dallas, TX to take on the challenge of what is now the growing legacy of Trinity Christian football in Cedar Hill.
The whispers began on extending this championship series with an addition of football last year. TCAL had great success in the basketball arena on the national level, having produced talent and inquisitions to take part in the series from programs across the country. After drafting plans with Coach Hart of Trinity Christian, Dr. Crain, of TCAL, began scoping the country for a worthy opponent, landing on talks and commitment from Andrew Schell of the national team affiliate of Life Christian Academy, HEIR Football Academy in Tacoma, Washington.
HEIR Football, composed of D1 athletes across the state of WA, also holds high talent within its coaching staff, that includes the architect of the program, former NFL Saints player Reggie Jones. Friday morning, HEIR Football boarded a plane to Dallas in hopes to test their odds with a challenger from the south. Trinity Christian is no stranger to NFL influence, with Coach Deion Sanders being paired with his son, Shedeur Sanders, a Senior at Trinity Christian. TCHS also has their own fair share of D1 talent, balancing out the scales of what would be a phenomenal showcase of future All-Americans and NFL players.
Both staffs emphasized the importance of this game, for the kids. In uncertain times, sports were on the brink of existence for a majority of the year. Graduating seniors on the high school level lost opportunities to earn scholarships or even attention from college recruiters with cancelled games and postponed seasons. Washington suspended play and practice completely, leaving a void in any film or spectatorship. This was an opportunity to give these young student athletes the eyes of collegiate programs they were in need of, while alleviating the side effects of a global pandemic.
Dr. Crain put it best when he described these series, the chance for independent schools across the nation to showcase their talents on a national level, attracting recruiting attention for the kids and making for a great game.
You can check out the replay of the broadcast HERE.
Check out the highlights from our broadcast with Mike Schell and Brenden Snow, as well as the halftime show with Dr. Crain. Also check out our postgame show with Coach Andre Hart and Player of the Game Shedeur Sanders:
Occasionally, you'll come across a storyline for the ages. A Cinderella story, a comeback win in the final minutes of a game, one final push for security of the playoffs. Fortunately, in the world of Texas high school football, these stories are an ever-developing landscape. This particular stand-alone, however, is a unique one. It has all of these elements and more.
On November 6th, district rivals Grapevine Faith and Fort Worth Christian squared up underneath the bright Friday night lights. Fort Worth Christian celebrating a senior night and fighting hopes to extend towards postseason play with a shortened schedule. Grapevine Faith looking to secure a home field playoff game with another district win. One for the books?
No, there's more. Senior starting QB of 1-1 (district play) Fort Worth Christian, Carson Cross, faces off against rising sophomore QB younger brother, Chase Cross, of Grapevine Faith 2-1 (district play). A rivalry of rivalry games, brother against brother, with district playoff positions up for the winnings. A storyline due for a motion picture, produced by the genuine circumstance, and scripted by the outcome of competitiveness. Hold the phone, Hollywood's calling.
Kickoff ensued as Grapevine Faith was advantageous with an interception, putting points up early. Fort Worth Christian answered with 20 of their own, unanswered, before half, Carson paving the way with 3 TDs.
The second half routed for Grapevine Faith for a comeback win, 2 TDs to take the lead. One final drive in the final minutes of the game to secure the win was interrupted with a FWC interception and late drive to put themselves in a game-winning position for a field goal, down by one at 20-21. A botched snap led to the demise of FWC as Grapevine Faith knelt to secure the win, giving Chase the bragging rights in the house of Cross.
Footage by Brian Jones; Edits by Brian Jones and Jason West; Photography by Nick Weaver
VYPE caught up with the Cross brothers and coaches after the game.