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Tomball Independent School District

THS Football Named National Finalist for NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award

THS Football Named National Finalist for NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award
THS-NationalAcademicExcellenceAward - final

IRVING, Texas — Tomball High School Football has been named a National Finalist for the National Football Foundation National High School Academic Excellence Award, announced recently by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Tomball High School is the lone 6A Texas finalist and one of just 60 teams from across the nation that have been named a National Finalist, vying for the NFF Hatchell Cup, presented by "The Original" Bob's Steak & Chop House, which will be announced Feb. 8 and recognizes the top individual high school football team in the nation for excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community.

"I’m incredibly proud of our student-athletes, teachers and coaches who have committed to being excellent in the classroom and on the field," said Tomball High School Principal Chris Scott. "The football program has set a standard that continues to add value to the culture and rich tradition of Tomball High School athletics."

Tomball High School Football, led by head coach Dave Handal, has earned numerous accolades and postseason honors following another impressive late-season run. This year alone, THS Football has earned:

Academic Achievements:

  • Team GPA: 3.8 out of 4.0 scale (95.23%)
  • 37 - Academic All-District Selections
  • 10 - 2nd Team Academic All-State Selections
  • 1 - Honorable Mention Academic All-State Selection
  • 3 - National Merit Award Winners
  • 37 - Players enrolled in AP/DC/Honors Classes

Athletic Achievements:

  • 2022 Bi-District Champs
  • 2022 Area Champs
  • 2022 Regional Semi-Finalists
  • Texas High School Football Team of Week (Week #13)
  • Dave Campbell's Coach of the Week (Week #13)
  • 2 - District Players of the Year
  • 10 - 1st Team All-District Players
  • 6 - 2nd Team All-District Players
  • 5 - Honorable Mention All-District Players

And along with accolades, THS Football continues to give back to the community. 

Community Service/Campus Activities:

  • Student Coach Mentoring Program
  • Tomball Holiday Parade Participants
  • Elementary School Mentoring Program
  • Tomball Youth Football Camp
  • Junior High Football Player of the Week Mentoring Program
  • Tomball High School Teacher of the Week Program

Teams representing all levels in Texas as National Finalists: 

  • 1A – Chester High School
  • 2A – Tioga High School
  • 3A – Spearman High School
  • 4A – Boerne High School
  • 5A – Lake Belton High School
  • 6A – Tomball High School
  • Private – Houston St. Thomas Catholic High School

A complete list of National Finalists from across the country. 

"Academic and athletic success go hand-in-hand," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "We are proud to recognize these 60 outstanding high school football teams as the top academic performers in their states. These schools, coaches, players and their families should all be incredibly pleased with their accomplishments, and we look forward to announcing the overall winner of the Hatchell Cup on February 8. We hope by inspiring teams to compete in the classroom with the same competitive spirit that it takes to win on the field, we will better prepare high school football players for success later in life."

This coveted award is the first nationwide recognition honoring individual high school football teams for excellence in the classroom with a team 3.0 or above grade point average.

“This is an amazing honor for our program,” said Handal. “Academics are an expectation in our Culture, and our players do a phenomenal job of buying into and meeting those expectations. Our coaches do an unbelievable job of managing and supporting our players to ensure their academic success. We are grateful for all the teachers and administrators at THS for supporting our players the way that they do.” 

Tomball High School was recently named a State Finalist and just one of 15 schools recognized in Class 6A in the State of Texas early this year. This is the second straight year THS has been named a State finalist but first as a National Finalist.

"Texas is excited to again partner with the National Football Foundation in an effort to recognize team academic excellence,” said Texas High School Coaches Association Executive Director Joe Martin. “This unique, national award recognizes High School Football teams that have excelled in academics during this football season. Not only does the game of football teach life lessons, but the teams receiving this award are proving they can compete in the classroom as well as on the gridiron."

The NFF Hatchell Cup is named in honor of NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. Since taking over the helm of the NFF in 2005, Hatchell has overseen numerous programs expanding the NFF's reach and impact as it continues to promote the scholar-athlete ideal. His career in athletics administration spans more than five decades and includes countless accomplishments, including serving as the first commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and holding the top jobs at the Southwest Conference and the Orange Bowl.

 This past December, "The Original" Bob's Steak & Chop House became the presenting sponsor of the Hatchell Cup. Since its 1993 opening in Dallas, Texas, Bob's Steak & Chop House has proudly offered the best cuts of meat available to guests, making the name "Bob's" synonymous with a best-in-class steakhouse experience. Over the years, the restaurant has built upon the reputation that it earned at the original Dallas location by opening restaurants across the nation, providing guests a first-class experience no matter where they call home.

Tomball ISD educates students to become responsible, productive citizens by providing innovative, individually rigorous, and personally valuable educational experiences. Founded in 1908, Tomball ISD now encompasses 83 square miles in northwest Harris County and southwest Montgomery County, and is located approximately 30 miles from downtown Houston. The district currently educates nearly 22,000 students at 22 campuses.


  • 2022-2023
  • Academic Excellence
  • Athletics
  • Football
  • THS