Seventeen weeks after the first kickoff in August, the 2014 Texas high school football season is over. During those seventeen weeks, I drove over 7,500 miles (almost twice the length of the U.S.-Canada border, or almost four times the length of the U.S.-Mexico border) all over the state as I photographed sixteen high school football games in sixteen different stadiums in an attempt to document the high school football experience in a project called When In Texas.
For the final two games of the season I decided to photograph one of the first teams I encountered in my journey: the Mason High School Punchers. A class-2A school in the Northwest Hill Country with an enrollment of 205 students, Mason has the state's most successful tennis program of all time (with over 80 state championships), but had not found the same success in football until the last four years, when the Punchers earned their only two berths in the state title game: the first one coming in 2011, while the second one happened just this Thursday. Before that, however, the Punchers had to get past the Centerville Tigers in their state semifinal game.
Mason came into Georgetown's Birkelbach Field after an undefeated season filled with dominating performances and having survived their toughest test yet in the Refugio Bobcats. They would control the game from the start and beat one of Centerville's best ever teams by twenty points with a final score of 27-7, punching their ticket to the school's second state championship game, hoping to repeat the success of 2011.
Catch up with the previous episodes of When In Texas by visiting the entries below and stay tuned for the final post of the project, where I follow twin brothers Luis and Miguel Castillo, Mason's senior halfback and quarterback, respectively, as they prepared for the last game of their careers.
Week 1: Woodlands College Park vs Pearland
Week 2: Mason vs De Leon
Week 3: West Rusk vs Sabine
Week 4: El Paso vs Jefferson Silva
Week 5: Katy vs Katy Taylor
Week 5: St. Anthony vs St. Stephen's
Week 6: Lufkin vs Whitehouse
Week 7: Midland Lee vs Odessa Permian
Week 8: Denison vs Sherman
Week 10: Southlake Carroll vs Haltom
Week 11: Sweetwater vs Lamesa
Week 12: Jayton vs Guthrie
Week 13: Weslaco vs Laredo United
Week 15: May vs Blum