By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - In his 51 years putting out the "bible" of Texas football, Dave Campbell has seen a lot of changes.
Whether it was the amount of pages - from 96 to more than 375 this year - or its price - from 50 cents to $10 - the iconic magazine has grown in almost every way imaginable.
"It's been a very good success and it's cemented itself into the affections of Texas football fans," Campbell said of the magazine. "And, as everyone knows, football in Texas is a very passionate endeavor."
Debuting the latest edition of the "Texas Football" magazine, the legendary gridiron guru shook hands and signed autographs for a crowd of eager Harker Heights coaches, players, families and friends Monday afternoon at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Market Heights.
"It really is a thrill to see it come off the (printing) press, to see how the cover came out, and to see how people are accepting it," Campbell said.
Monday was the first stop for the 84-year-old former Waco Tribune staffer along his Texas Football Classic Road Tour to promote the 12th annual Texas Football Classic, in which the Knights will play Georgetown in the finale of the five-game, three-day event Aug. 28 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for not just the high school, but also for the community as well," said Doug Babb, president of the Heights athletic booster club. "To be able to be the first team in the Killeen Independent School District - to represent the entire area - is quite an honor for us."
For those fans that missed him in Heights, Campbell will be at the Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Belton beginning at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Tigers play state-favorite Abilene, the defending Div II-5A state champion in the Classic on Aug. 27 in a game the magazine the lists as its 5A Week 0 game to watch. Abilene is ranked second in the magazine's preseason poll.
"We're have great receptions - and certainly the reception (in Heights) is going to live up to all expectations - and I think for the teams that get to play in the Alamodome, it's something that high school kids don't get the opportunity to do a lot," Campbell said. "Win or lose, it's something that they have fond memories of, I think."
Heights rising senior linebacker Tyler Babb is one such "kid."
"To finally get a chance to play there my senior year, it's almost like a dream come true," Tyler Babb said.
For second-year Harker Heights head coach Mike Mullins, finally getting to meet Campbell was an experience he'll never forget.
"I grew up in the athletic world and just getting that magazine, and to go all across the state through every district, and of course, as time has gone on and more teams were involved, you can virtually find any school that you want and see what they have," Mullins said. "It just has a tremendous impact on football throughout the state."
All proceeds from the event went directly to the Knights' booster club.
Contact Alex Byington at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (254) 501-7566.