San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 4th, 2010
San Marcos and Hays to renew football rivalry

020410vannestSan Marcos High School football coach Steve Van Nest talks with his team after a game last fall. File photo.


A one-time staple of the Hays County athletic scene is coming back for a two-year engagement.

The football teams from San Marcos and Hays High Schools will play each other this fall and during the fall of 2011, according to the coaches for both programs.

Hays and San Marcos met on almost an annual basis from 1990 through 2003, packing their stadiums in what was once the athletic event of the year in Hays County. The rivalry especially picked up steam in 1998, when Bruce Bush came to San Marcos and rescued the Rattlers from 30 seasons of losing, while Hays was in the middle of its best years.

The two teams combined to put more than 16,000 people into Bobcat Stadium in 1998, when a Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) game would draw about half of that. A year later, the two teams packed Bob Shelton Stadium to over-flowing, with the crowd approaching 10,000.

The renewal of the rivalry comes about somewhat as a result of the new University Interscholastic League (UIL) redistricting, which placed San Marcos in District 25-5A and Hays in District 27-4A. San Marcos head coach Steve Van Nest and Hays head coach Bob Shelton had been discussing a pre-season scrimmage when the new groupings were announced and they suddenly each found themselves needing a game in Week 2.

“When re-alignment comes out, all your best laid plans go haywire,” Van Nest said. “We both needed a game then, so we just decided to go ahead and do it.”

Shelton said the game “should be a lot of fun.” Many offices in the eastern portions of Hays County include alums and parents connected with both high schools, giving the Hays-San Marcos game an extra edge.

“We have to schedule competitively, and this will be one of those big-game type atmospheres,” Van Nest said.

The game is tentatively scheduled for 2010 at Bob Shelton Stadium and for 2011 at Bobcat Stadium. Both coaches said the paperwork hasn’t yet been signed. Typically, said Shelton, that waits until the new districts have been finalized through an appeals process.

The game will fall on the second Friday in September, which will be Sept. 10 this year. Both teams will have games on “Zero week” at the end of August. The Rattlers will have their bye week the first weekend in September. Hays will have its bye during the eighth week of the season.

San Marcos is moving back up to Class 5A this fall after turning in a snapshot enrollment of 2,086 — 21 above the cut-off minimum for Class 5A. The Rattlers, along with Seguin and Cibolo Steele, are going from District 27-4A to a big-school district that also will include Converse Judson, San Antonio Wagner and New Braunfels.

With San Marcos, Steele and Seguin going to Class 5A, District 27-4A took in Hays and Lehman to go with Schertz Clemens, New Braunfels Canyon, Smithson Valley, Alamo Heights and Lockhart.

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