Non-district scheduling can be a tricky thing for coaches throughout Texas. Open dates, previously scheduled opponents and the balance of home and road games can cause some sleepless nights.
When Lufkin struck out in finding a final non-district opponent for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, they went to some outside the box thinking, turning to a rare international non-district contest that landed the Monterrey Prepa Tec Borregos at Abe Martin Stadium under the Friday night lights.
“We probably called 25 people trying to get the right fit,” Quick said. “That’s when we eventually started talking to them about a game here and fortunately it worked out.”
Lufkin originally turned to Monterrey for a Week 5 matchup when there was the potential for Beaumont West Brook not being in District 16-5A. When West Brook remained in the district, the game with Monterrey was moved up a week.
Monterrey will also make the trip to Lufkin in 2017. That agreement also allowed Lufkin to keep a standard schedule with five home games and five road games in each season.
With the Panthers playing in Shreveport’s Battle on the Border in 2016 and 2017, Lufkin will have a balanced slate of games.
“That gave us the chance to balance it out since we’re playing in Shreveport both years,” Quick said.
The matchup with Monterrey also led to a few changes in scouting. The teams were unable to scout each other in person due to the obvious travel logistics.
However, Quick said that’s not as much of an issue as it would have been in the past.
“Scouting has gone so much to email and internet over the last few years that you’re really not missing anything,” Quick said. “You get everything you need off the film they send you. It’s so much better than in the past when you’d have actual film and you’d end up with something that just happened to be missing. You still get snap counts and things like that from seeing a team in person, but it’s not vital.”
Friday’s game will feature a different feel with Monterrey unlikely to have many fans making the lengthy trip to the game. Lufkin is hopeful it can pack both sides of the stadium.
The game will serve as #LufkinUCommunity Night with elementary and primary students able to sit on the visitors side for $2 admission.
Monterrey will arrive in town on Thursday night in preparation for the game.
“I know that the community and the local businesses are involved with some other things going on with the game,” Quick said. “Fortunately they take care of all of that and we can just focus on going out and winning a football game.”
Kickoff for Friday night’s game is slated for 7:30.