Pete Garcia, The Sports Guy

A few years back, I attended a company conference all the way in Montgomery, Ala. In my first minutes there, I was greeted by my ride, a colleague who worked for one of our Alabama newspapers. He was my ride to the hotel, but the short trip downtown included a detour through downtown, then through a beautiful neighborhood and finally behind a high school where I was shown one of the area's many stadiums.

Surveying the scene, he sighed and said something cheesy like, "We take our high school football seriously."

Seems the reputation of Texas high school football reaches far across the land, and while other places might think they are serious about their high school football, they're sadly mistaken if they think their devotion and loyalty to their team surpasses ours. They're also very wrong if they think theirs rivals the atmosphere and pageantry which surrounds our Friday nights in the fall. And the High School Football Magazine you'll find inside today's edition of the Alice Echo-News Journal is example of how seriously we take our high school football.

Aside from being a tribute to our football programs, the magazine is also meant to inform you - the fan. Inside the magazine, you'll find the usual items like area team previews, as well as area district previews and schedules. At the same time, there are other items unique to our section like the Alice Newspapers, Inc./Fox Sports Radio 1070 AM district rankings, the South Texas High School Football Top 5, which ranks the top five teams in 5A-4A, 3A and 2A-1A. There's also our district picks, in which a few of us tell you which three teams from every area district will see the postseason.

A goal of our section is to also put a face on the game. You'll be introduced to Alice running back and linebacker Zach Garza and Freer fullback and linebacker Fabian Eeds, both of whom are our top picks in our X's and O's spread. You'll also get to know other players like Alice middle linebacker Josh Cavazos and running back Deon Hill, as well as other fine athletes from Orange Grove to Premont. On the cover of our section today, you'll see Cavazos, a one-time starting quarterback candidate who made the transition from signal caller to the heart and soul of the Coyotes' defense, and Justin Guerrero, last year's starting quarterback who you'll hear a lot about this season as a defensive back and receiver.

So, while you sit back and read your football magazine, enjoy it and take some solace in the fact that you are part of Texas high school football. After all, we take our football seriously.

pete.garcia@aliceechonews.com