Pigskin Pursuit

An eight year odyssey across the backroads of America during the ultimate College Football roadtrip.

Tag: Southlake Carroll High School

Friday Night Lights: Southlake Style

It goes without saying that football is a religion in Texas, and high school football is the emblematic icon of that faith. Across all corners of the state, the world stops on Friday Night as communities gather under the vaporous glow of beckoning light towers piercing coal night skies above the stretching Texas plains.



Reaching for a venue that embodies the best of Texas football, our feature high school game for 2010 was the fabled Southlake Carroll Dragons.



Southlake, for those of you unfamiliar, is one of the most storied high school football programs in Texas, and therefore the country. The Dragons boast seven Texas State 5A Championships and from 2002-2006 compiled a record of 79-1 including three consecutive state titles from 04’-06. Gregg McElroy, Chase Daniel and Scott Chandler were just a handful of recent graduates whos names may sound familiar.



Despite occupying the outskirts of DFW airport, Southlake is one of the wealthiest suburbs in Texas, and features some of the gaudier McMansions ever to sport a replica medieval entryway. Lets just say the fanbase at Southlake is a bit of a different demographic than you may be familiar with. Bleach blond trophy wives toting their True Religion clad pre-teens around the bleachers are the norm inside the 11,000 seat, $15 Million dollar concrete Dragon Stadium behemoth. The entire atmosphere is unapologetically competitive and elite. That said, it’s an environment that breeds exceptional athletes and scholars, so they are certainly doing something right.




On the field, the game had all the action and regalia we have come to expect from big time High School football. Full bands were in attendance, each putting on impressive half time shows including a rendition of “On Wiscsonin” aka The Southlake Carroll school song (many Texas High school songs are borrowed from Big 10 Schools). The speed of play was impressive for a high school game, and despite a handful of turnovers, execution was remarkable for a bunch of 16-18 year olds.


In the end, Southlake overcame a 10 point 4th quarter deficit to stretch the game into overtime, where they promptly stuffed in a 17 yard run and held on for the win.



Final Score (OT): Southlake Carroll 31 – Richardson Berkner 24



Don’t worry about missing any of the on field action when you need some nachos, Dragon Stadium has you covered on the concession stand plasma screens.



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Babe’s Fried Chicken

Kicking off the eating tour for the College Football Tour of 2010 was a local DFW place that had been on my list for some time: Babe’s Fried Chicken. Specifically, they were purported to have one of the better chicken fried steaks in the Lonestar State, and being only a stones throw from Southlake Carroll it was time to give it a shot.

Unlike BBQ, I don’t consider myself much of an authority on chicken fried steak, or deep fried foods in general. Candidly, I don’t see much of an art in it – how long can it really take to master rolling some chicken or steak around in flour and dropping it into hot oil? (I can hear my southern readers choking on their chitterlings with that statement). Purists would argue that I am probably missing the nuances of the dish, and they would probably be right. Generally speaking, to me, all deep fried foods taste mostly the same. You could deep fry a rusty screwdriver and to me it would still taste like fried chicken. Stepping down off my soapbox, chicken fried steak still eats pretty well so I braved the DFW traffic on a Friday rush hour and sauntered on in.

As some of you may know, if its one thing I admire in a restaurant it’s an unwavering dedication to simplicity. You can imagine my delight then, when I wasn’t even presented with a menu at Babe’s. Instead, the bubbly waitress promptly asked me what I wanted: Chicken or Steak? Two choices – beautiful. Resisting the urge to launch into a monologue of praise for Babe’s menu (or lack thereof) and rail against the paralysis of choice of our modern customizable world, I simply retorted “Steak”. The sides are even pre determined for you as well.



You’re a simple man Babe, and I salute you for it.



Despite my fawning for the menu, and a suitable rustic atmosphere, in the end the chicken fried steak was simply okay. It wasn’t particularly great, but certainly wasn’t bad in any way either. It was a bit soggy for my taste, and I would have liked a little more crisp and crunch on the coating. The sides were all standard and unremarkable, albeit plentiful. Babe’s is also a bit over represented by the rug-rat demographic for my taste, but it represents itself as a family restaurant so I can hardly complain.

In all a solid meal, and based on reputation alone, certainly worth a shot if you find yourself in the DFW area with a hankering for some artery hardening goodness.

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