— Not much is bigger than Texas high school football and the upcoming state playoff battle between Aledo and Ennis has led to a friendly wager between Parker County Judge Mark Riley and Ellis County Judge Carol Bush.
The losing county judge will have to wear the winning team’s shirt at their next commissioners court meeting. The two teams face off in the Class 4A, Division II, state semifinal at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday in Midlothian. The winner will play for the state championship next Saturday, Dec. 21, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Despite the fact that Riley is a 1969 graduate of Ennis High School, he makes no secret where his allegiance stands. In fact, it was Riley who contacted Ellis County Judge Carol Bush to offer the bet.
“I am catching some heat about it from high school friends and I have even received some emails calling me a traitor, but I support Aledo and all Parker County teams no matter what,” Riley said. “We respect Ennis and Ellis County.
Both teams are 14-0, but I feel very confident in our Aledo Bearcats.”
Bush has something different in mind.
“When Judge Riley called eager to lose a wager to me, I was happy to accommodate,” Bush said. “I think the Ennis Lions are going to tame those Aledo Bear kittens, and Judge Riley will be wearing the color that he should have been wearing all along.”
Riley said the wager makes things a little more interesting, but he keeps it all in perspective.
“We are having fun with this playoff match-up between two of the state’s high school football powerhouses, but the most important thing is that we, as local leaders, be supportive of our communities’ children and their schools,” Riley said.
In fact this is the second wager between Riley and Ellis County.
“We have done this before, back when Aledo and Ennis first battled each other in 2004,” Riley said. “I won that bet and enjoyed some great barbecue from former Ellis County Judge Chad Adams. This year I am looking forward to Judge Bush wearing Aledo Bearcat orange.”