Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The Battle on the Border will take place on Sept. 10 in Independence Stadium at Shreveport, La.

Preface: Over the past few months, I have done a few stories for The Battle on the Border-- three games showcasing high school football teams in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas (Arkansas will be included in the future). I decided to put this particular story on my blog so people can see if Louisiana and Mississippi stack up to Texas in the high school game. In this story, I took a look at mostly recruiting, while also comparing the atmosphere and the fans in all three states. I hope you enjoy this story and visit the event's Web site, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

In Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, recruits and fans take their high school football seriously.

Friday nights are normally the perfect time in all three states where many communities can come together as one at a football stadium in order to cheer their teams to victory. It is a time and a place where many fans can also see future NFL stars.

“Just like a lot of the states in the Southeast, I think it’s the No. 1 sport in this time of the year,” Lafayette (MS) head coach Anthony Hart said.

As shown and described in “Friday Night Lights” (the book, movie or TV series), high school football in Texas is a big deal.

“I know it is important to us in our community, because it’s something that everyone can rally around,” Marshall head coach Andy Ritchers said. “There is some truth that when it’s Friday night, the whole town shuts down and they want to come watch football.”

Texas has long been a hotbed to many high school football recruits, along with California and Florida. Many of the elite colleges in the nation recruit the Lone Star State in hopes to bring in that one star to fill out the championship puzzle.

“It’s a praise and an honor for us to have these Division I, II, and III schools constantly come to us to get our kids because they feel like we got them so well prepared and we take pride in that,” Ritchers said. “We work very hard in making sure those kids are prepared not only for Friday nights, but the next level as well.”

According to NFL Senior Vice President of Public Relations Greg Aiello’s Twitter account, Texas had the second-most NFL players at the start of the 2010 season with 181 representatives. That number ballooned to 211 at the end of the season according to ESPN the Magazine.

A more detailed chart of Aiello's findings. Texas ranked No. 2 at the beginning of

the 2010 NFL season. Louisiana came in at No. 6 (Chart courtesy of Yahoo)

Louisiana and Mississippi are not that far behind, despite their smaller size. Both states certainly do not have a shortage of talent and loyal dedicated fans.

“I think Mississippi and Louisiana are probably very similar,” Hart said. “You know, with a lot of speed and a lot of athletes. You have a Southeastern Conference school in Louisiana and you have two Southeastern Conference schools in Mississippi, so I think they are very similar.”

Although Louisiana and Mississippi do not produce the same number of NFL stars as Texas, both states have Texas beat based on per capita.

“Everybody in the country recruits Louisiana,” Byrd head coach Mike Suggs said. “Every year, year in and year out, there’s always so much talent throughout the South.”

A report on Yahoo last year stated that Louisiana was tops in terms of per capita by producing one NFL star for every 65,720 people. Mississippi came in second with a rate of 1 in 76,883.

The city of Shreveport will be the host to some of this talent from all three states on Sept. 10 with the Battle on the Border.

Louisiana powerhouses Evangel and West Monroe will participate in this event along with similar top teams in Texas’ Marshall High and Mississippi’s Lafayette High.

For more information on The Battle on the Border, you can go to the event’s Web site at

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