Vandegrift is one of three Austin-area games that will get some extra coverage when they kick off the football season on Sept. 1.
The Vipers’ opener against Odessa Permian will be one of 10 games with live look-ins during Football Day in Texas on FOX Sports Southwest. Two games, Idalou against Stillwater and Lake Travis vs. Converse Judson, will be shown in full.
In June, UIL Legislative Council lightened restrictions on showing high school football games live on Friday nights, first approving to just show two games on the first weekend as a test run of sorts.
The other nine games with live look-ins are Westlake at Katy, Canadian at Bushland, Cedar Hill at Allen, Colleyville Heritage at Aledo, Gilmer at Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, Manvel at Crosby, Mercedes at Corpus Christi Calallen, and Refugio at Hebbronville.
“The UIL is excited to celebrate football across the state of Texas with this unique television event,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt in a press release. “Historically, UIL rules have not allowed for live football telecasts on Friday night, to protect the local community aspects of Friday night games. However, FSSW understands the significance of these games and is committed to showcasing the best high school football in the country. The UIL Legislative Council allowing these two live telecasts is a wonderful celebration to kick off the 98th season of UIL football.”
FSSW will begin the 14-hour day of coverage at 11 a.m. with a pre-game studio show with look-ins from gamed activities across the state. Leading up to the live coverage beginning at 5 p.m., the station will show six classic state title games.
“We wanted to create a signature event that celebrates and captures the cultural significance of football in Texas,” FOX Sports Southwest Sr. Vice President/General Manager Steve Simpson said. “Our broadcasts will have a limited commercial format, allowing us to tell stories that highlight communities, legends and traditions from the small town schools to the large metropolitan area programs. We are hopeful that Texas Football Days will become an annual event.”
Vandegrift is coming off another playoff appearance last season thanks to wins in four of the last fives games. The Vipers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat San Antonio Johnson in the first round of the playoffs.
In the first edition of the home-and-home against Permian last season, the Panthers got the best of Vandegrift, outscoring the Vipers 15-3 in the second half to earn a 21-20 win at Monroe Stadium.