Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Over the past couple of weeks, it has been pretty hard to miss out on the sports news or viral videos and photos that included the new Melissa High School and yes, their multi-million-dollar Coach Kenny Deel Stadium right next door to the High School. Some of us thought that was a new college stadium in the area or even a practice facility a Division 1 school, so much we had to do a double and even triple take on this one. Yep, it’s a High School.
We have been traveling to North Texas for the past 20 plus years and have seen the area North of I635 just explode with amazing development, but Melissa, Texas was never on our radar of places that we just had to go check out, that was until last week. That’s right the Melissa ISD is no longer a sleepy cattle pasture town somewhere north of Dallas, it is now a premier place to send your kids to school and play athletics.
This High School campus might actually be nicer than some college campuses we have been on over the years, so why not send your kids to the best? Melissa thinks they have it and after checking this place out, your jaw will drop after seeing what they are doing for their kids that few others are doing.
Melissa High School is a public high school in Melissa, Texas. It is part of the Melissa Independent School District in north-central Collin County and classified as a 5A school by the UIL. The school is located on the northwest edge of the city of Melissa, which some people will know, because there is a Bucee’s right up the street that is a pre or after-game attraction of its own.
There is also a housing boom going on in Melissa and the space on the campus is warranted. All of the staff said they are well ahead of any school for the potential growth in the next few years.
More than 500 Melissa properties are currently listed, including several new builds and a lot of land ready for that dream home should you decide this is the right place for your next move.
Even those who don’t have a football player in the family are drawn to the Friday Night Lights vibe of small-town Melissa. After seeing the vibe of this place and game firsthand, there are some college games we would rather skip on a Saturday to see this overall experience.
We had the chance to speak with the namesake, Coach Kenny Deel himself, along with Duke Sparks, Director of Community Partnerships & Athletic Operations who both have been in Melissa since this place was entirely cow pastures and nothing more than a school that exceed the 7th grade.
“Putting a first-class facility that meets the needs of these kids coming to school here was our first goal. This isn’t just a football facility, it’s a place all of our students can have access to from the classroom to the partnerships with Game On for our media production, we want to create something special where all of our kids can’t wait to get to school and see all of the possibilities, we have that are not just sports related,” said Sparks.
After walking through the entire facility which has some of the nicest locker rooms even for JV athletes, we see exactly why this place was well thought out. Not only do the girls’ sports have their own side of locker rooms and team areas, but they can also use all of the boy’s facilities and the indoor facilities are just as good as any D1 school you will find.
According to their staff, many of the amenities they offer families of athletes as well as areas available for athletes to grow in their four years in High School came from the feedback of D1 Coaches. I would put this athletic campus up against all of the new Maryland football facilities, Ohio State and even Alabama. This is a place you can go to college before you go to college. Some of these kids might not even seen everything from top to bottom in this school when they graduate and move on.
Throughout the entire stadium you will find each floor offers classrooms during the school week, suite style seating for opposing school’s VIP’s, academic staff, principals, members of the media as well as various college scouts. What really stood out to us is the partnership between Melissa and Game On Sports for their in-house video production on game days and their curriculum that offers a chance to prepare them for a job with them after graduation. Talk about setting the bar high for their success and giving their students a chance to work in the equivalent of the top news studios all while in High School.
Overall, if you happen to be in North Texas, or just happen to relocate, Melissa just maybe you next spot to check out. You won’t want to miss out on the action.
Special Thanks to Duke, Doug Z, Amy T and the rest of the game day staff as your hospitality is second to none. We are glad we had the chance to see what everyone has been talking about ourselves and experience football the Texas Way.
For more info on the stadium and all of the athletics at Melissa High School. Visit their site listed below.