Pasadena, Texas–We meet yet again.
That is the collective mindset of everyone involved with North Shore and Katy, including Katy head coach Gary Joseph as he and his Tigers prepare to meet the Mustangs at Pasadena Memorial Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m. in a UIL 5A Division I Area Semifinals (third round) high school football playoff game.
“We’re two very competitive programs, that’s the jist of it,” Joseph said. “We have a lot of respect for them and what they’ve done and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.”
Katy (12-0) is 2-1 in three meetings with North Shore (11-1) over the last three seasons, including a 44-6 annihilation of them to start this season at GPISD Stadium.
Both programs have dominated Houston-area high school in the past 15 seasons like no other 5A programs have and perhaps only 4A power La Marque can compare their reputation in the greater Houston area.
Since 1997 and including the 1999 season when the Tigers had to forfeit a trip to the state title game due to the use of an illegal player, Katy has won 5 state championships, went to 9 state championship games, and won 10 Region III titles.
If not for a 40-21 loss to a Houston Madison team led by Vince Young his senior year in 2001 (coincidentally preventing a third round matchup between North Shore and Katy), the Tigers could easily be in the midst of 14 consecutive trips to the Region III finals and 15 straight 10 win seasons since they only failed to win 10 games once since 1996 in 2001 when they won “only” 8 games.
Despite his program’s success, Joseph knows North Shore is also a well accomplished program.
“They had the longest regular season winning streak in the nation for a while,” he said.
The streak he is referring to is the state record 78 game regular season winning streak by Mustangs that spanned the entire 2001-2008 seasons and was ended by Katy at the start of last season. North Shore, which never made the playoffs before head coach David Aymond arrived in 1994, has made 17 consecutive trips to the playoffs, including this year. They currently have the second longest streak among 5A programs of winning at least one playoff game, dating back to a 1999 first round loss to Clear Lake (Katy holds the current lead).
Needless to say, both programs have accomplished a lot over the years and Joseph feels no matter how much people try to diminish North Shore’s accomplishments that they deserve respect as much anybody.
“They lost to some pretty good football programs over the years,” he said. “There’s no easy road in [the playoffs regardless of whether your in Division I or II].”
Additionally, he has nothing but respect for Aymond as a coach and as a person.
“Coach Aymond has been a class guy in my dealing with me,” Joseph said. “And he hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves for having that kind of program and there’s a tremendous amount of respect from this end for what he’s done over there.”