Why is The Rider/Old High Game Week One This Year in Wichita Falls?
High school football is a big deal in Texas and here locally it doesn't get much bigger than the Rider/Old High game. How come this is literally the first game of the season?
Typically during the football season your big rivalry game is a little later in the season. I like to imagine it sometime in October. You both have a couple of games under your belt, you can review tape, and you have a pretty good idea of what you can expect out of your opponent. However in Wichita Falls, we're going big week one. Rider/Old High next Friday, but why?
It's been driving me nuts why this game is taking place week one. Texas would never open the season against the Oklahoma Sooners nowadays. So what gives? I reached out to Chris Koetter who would call the Old High games on our station back in the day. If I trust anyone for their high school football knowledge in Texoma, it would be him. He says this is due to UIL realignment.
Every two years the UIL does a potential realignment based on the amount of students in the school. Since Old High has a projection of 1299 students, they just made the cutoff to be dropped down to 4A in the state. In fact, Wichita Falls High School has the most students for a 4A school in the state. Rider stayed in the 5A group in the state.
So week one is typically your Non District game. So since they're not in the same district anymore, that is why this is happening this way this year. Chris says this was typically when the game was played in the mid to late 90's when he was playing for the Coyotes. So it has been awhile since we have seen this match up so early in the season.
Best of luck to Raiders and Coyotes on the upcoming season. All I know is that Memorial Stadium will be rocking next Friday night.