Katy High opens this season on a national stage as it will help kick-off the 2019 ESPN High School Football Showcase on Thursday, August 29.
The Tigers’ season-opening game at North Shore will lead ESPN’s Week 1 slate with their game scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPNU. North Shore, the defending Class 6A Division I state champions, has the No. 2-ranked team in the country, per USA Today High School Sports, and ESPN’s No. 1-ranked player in the country in senior running back Zach Evans.
Katy High is seeking its first state championship since 2015 and a state-record ninth title overall. The last time the Tigers opened a season against a defending state champion was 2002 against Lufkin.
Katy and North Shore each return nine starters from last year's respective teams.
The Katy-North Shore tilt is one of three games featuring Texas teams that the Showcase will have this season. Cedar Hill Trinity Christian and Dallas Parish Episcopal play on ESPN2 on Sept. 5. Longview and Tyler John Tyler play on Sept. 12.
This will be the fifth meeting between Katy and North Shore since 2016.
Katy went 11-2 last season, with its only two losses coming to the Mustangs, who finished their season 16-0. The Tigers lost to North Shore, 35-21, in the season opener, and then fell 49-38 in the third round playoff game.
“I really took that one to heart, losing on this field (Legacy Stadium) the first game of the season and then losing at NRG (Stadium) in the playoff game the way that we did and then seeing them win a state championship,” junior quarterback Bronson McClelland said. “North Shore has great competitors, amazing athletes. Coach (Jon) Kay, he’s a great coach, but we’re going to bring it. They better be ready, because I know we will be.”
Katy won the 2017 regional semifinal playoff meeting, 31-3, while North Shore won the 2016 third-round playoff affair, 20-17.
ESPN’s Jay Alter and Craig Haubert will be on the call for all Showcase games. The Showcase will have an 11-game schedule and runs through Friday, November 1 in broadcasting 18 games on all of ESPN’s platforms.