All week, we’ll be counting down to the start of the 2015 football season, which comes on Saturday when Highland Park faces Frisco Centennial in the Tom Landry Classic.
So let’s talk about the event, which has been a staple of the Scots’ schedule since 2002 and is one of the longest running “classic” events of its kind in the country.
HP has a record of 10-3 in the Landry Classic, including a 47-0 win over Centennial last year at SMU’s Ford Stadium. This year’s game will be at Eagle Stadium in Allen, and will be preceded by a matchup between state powers Allen and Denton Guyer on Friday night.
The event has seen HP open the season against the likes of Stephenville, Denton Ryan, Waxahachie, Red Oak, Everman, and Aledo. It has set the stage for some memorable individual performances, such as Alex Carroll’s four rushing touchdowns against Waxahachie in 2006, Luke Woodley’s five touchdown passes against Red Oak in 2008, or Adam Parsons’ 208 receiving yards against Stephenville in 2003.
As a team, the Scots hold the Landry Classic records both for most points scored (59 against Waxahachie in 2006) and least points allowed (zero against Centennial last year). At halftime on Saturday, members of the HP state championship team from 2005 will be inducted into the Tom Landry Classic Hall of Honor.
But perhaps more important than the action on the field is the scholarship effort behind the scenes. The event has raised more than $900,000 in scholarship money for players and other students involved in the game. Of the 217 recipients during the past 15 years, 53 of those have been seniors at HP.
For Landry Classic executive director Kris Cumnock, the most important part of the scholarship program is finding students who exemplify the same qualities as the legendary coach — integrity, leadership, academic excellence, and a commitment to community service.
“We also assist with internships, letters of reference, calls of recommendation, and employment references,” Cumnock said. “Through the years, we have hired eight interns, helped an additional 15 HP students find internships, and directly assisted several others in landing their first jobs.”
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Tickets are available throughout this week at the Highlander Stadium box office at a cost of $8 for adults and $6 for students. All tickets will be $10 at the gate.