Southlake Carroll, a team from Mexico and Saturday games at Leo Buckley Stadium all await football fans in the 2010 season.
Football schedules across the state were finalized Friday, the first day the University Interscholastic League allows team to officially contract games, and brought new days to play and some intriguing matchups.
Killeen ISD's Leo Buckley Stadium will play host to three intracity Saturday high school football games in addition to its Thursday and Friday night schedule in the 2010-11 football season. The Saturday schedule includes a pair of preseason games and a District 12-5A game between Harker Heights and Ellison on Oct. 16.
"The (school) board didn't want us to play games on Thursday nights with just our schools in the Killeen ISD. But, they didn't want to impose that on the other district schools," said Killeen ISD Athletic Director Tom Rogers, Friday when high school football schedules were finalized.
"If it didn't work out where we could play on a Friday (at Leo Buckley), and if there was a second game that week - which there normally is - then we will play that game on Saturday."?
The idea to play Saturday games was brought before the Killeen ISD school board earlier this year in response to concerns by parents and educators that the weekday games interfere with schoolwork.
In 2009, there were eight Thursday night games, which start half an hour earlier than Friday night games.
Saturday non-district games between Shoemaker and Killeen (Sept. 4) and Harker Heights and Killeen (Sept. 11) will start at 6 p.m. Ellison hosts Harker Heights in the other Saturday game - a District 12-5A game on Oct. 16 - at 3 p.m.
"That's later in the year. We felt like, the earlier (season) games would be impossible to play that early in the day because of the heat," Rogers said. "We felt like the game in mid-October, hopefully, we'll have started getting some fall weather."
Copperas Cove managed to avoid any Saturday games, but who, and not when, they play should generate interest next season.
The Bulldawgs are scheduled to open the season Aug. 27 at home against Southlake Carroll, a seven-time state champion. It's the first of three straight home games as Cove faces Waco the next week before a Sept. 10 meeting at Bulldawg Stadium with Universidad Autonoma De Nuevo Leon out of San Nicolás de los Garza, a suburb of Monterrey. Cove will play the UANL Tigers at home both this season and next year.
"I think it's a good schedule for us as far as our fans are concerned," said Jack Welch, Cove's football coach and athletic director. "We have all three of our nondistrict games this year at home and that will be good. And the next year, having the Nuevo Leon still at home, we still have a good schedule because we'll have the majority of the district games at home."
UANL is one of two private schools in the Monterrey area that will face a number of Texas schools this season.
The Dawgs also have two Thursday games, going to Leo Buckley Stadium for games against Ellison (Oct. 7) and Shoemaker (Oct. 28).
"I feel good about (playing on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). Saturdays aren't that bad. We're playing late enough in the evening where I don't think heat will be a factor," said Shoemaker coach Ken Gray. "And then we've always played on Thursdays ... that won't be anything to new to us."?
Killeen and Ellison open the 2010 season with their 33rd meeting on Aug. 27. Shoemaker opens that same night at San Angelo Central. Harker Heights opens that Saturday against Georgetown in the Texas Football Classic at San Antonio's Alamodome. Belton will also be in San Antonio for the Classic, facing Abilene.
"We just know that it's a good opportunity for our kids to play in a different venue and to get some good experience from that," said Harker Heights coach Mike Mullins. "We want to give them that positive experience of going and playing in a nice place, but not only that but also playing a pretty good team (Georgetown) in a district that's right next to us."
Alex Byington and Angel Verdejo contributed to this report.