Last year for a storied rivalry?


Nicholas Figeuroa ’18

The Strake Jesuit Football team is set to take on long-time rival St. Thomas High School, September 8th at NRG Stadium at 7:30 PM.

This big game is sure to draw a large crowd, which has swelled to as many as 10,000 fans from both sides. That’s more than half of the capacity of Houston’s Toyota Center filled up by Strake Jesuit and St. Thomas fans. In fact, this game’s crowd has significantly outnumbered the crowds of many other high school football games, save for deep-round playoff games.

The rivalry between Strake Jesuit and St. Thomas, in all sports, is a competition for bragging rights between storied rivals of over fifty years. Will this be the final bout between the two schools? Both schools have recently agreed to drop matches in other sports, most notably in basketball.   

Strake Jesuit plays in the UIL (University Interscholastic League) while St. Thomas competes in TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools), complicating efforts to schedule athletic contests between the two schools.  

The annual football game between Strake Jesuit and St. Thomas has occurred at a variety of venues, among them Strake Jesuit’s Crusader Field; NRG Stadium; Butler, Dyer and Tully Stadiums (Spring Branch ISD) over the last decade. The two football teams have even battled in the Astrodome and Rice Stadium.

No matter the venue, the matches have been invariably pulse-pounding to the final seconds, when the outcome has been decided in recent years. Many games have featured high scores; others, strong defenses.

This is an exciting new year for Strake Jesuit football. Father Jeff Johnson, S.J. recently announced that SJ’s football program will be under the administration of Head Football Coach Mark Modeste, who joins us from Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton, California.

After falling to a four-year losing streak against St. Thomas from 2012-2015, Strake Jesuit bounced back and broke the streak with a 20-10 win at our very own Crusader Stadium this past fall. Historically, Strake Jesuit has been the stronger football team, despite our short losing streak of recent years. Bolstered by what promises to be a strong defense, Strake Jesuit hopes to repeat their victory from last fall.