Difference between TAPPS and SPC

Junior Jack Brogan goes up against two St. Pius X defenders. (Eagle Photo/Nathan Bartlett-Will)
Junior Jack Brogan goes up against two St. Pius X defenders. (Eagle Photo/Nathan Bartlett-Will)

There is no doubt that high school sports take precedent over a majority of other activities in Texas.

Some look forward to playing under the Friday night lights their whole life. For high school athletes, a state championship may be the pinnacle of their amateur career. Not only does this reward show the best team, but it shows the hardest workers, the most competitive players, and those who grind for their ultimate goal. But, what happens when winning a state title becomes an inaccurate representation of the true talent and work ethic within high school sports?

Playoffs are some of the most exciting times of a high school athlete’s life. With playoffs comes a certain intensity unmatched by anything else. Every game matters, especially when it is single elimination.

A majority of Texas private schools model their playoffs on three specific sports: football, baseball, and basketball. That is not to say that other sports do not matter, but it would be too tedious to explain eight different systems. Since a majority of Texas private schools participate in TAPPS or SPC, lets take a look at how these two associations model their playoffs.

TAPPS, or the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, controls sports and extracurricular competitions. Some participating schools include St. Thomas, Concordia Lutheran, Beaumont Kelly, and Prestonwood Christian.

St. Thomas vs Concordia Lutheran 10-28-16 Nebel (38)
Football kicks off against the Concordia Lutheran Crusaders. Concordia Lutheran, along with St. Thomas, are members of TAPPS. (Eagle Photo/Archive)

TAPPS has a very traditional playoff structure. A team must defeat their first two competitors in order to reach the State Tournament. This State Tournament contains the final four teams that compete in a semi-final game to reach the championships. This single elimination structure is used for baseball, basketball, and football.

SPC stands for Southwest Preparatory Conference. SPC is like TAPPS, but is much smaller. Some schools that participate in this conference include Kincaid, Episcopal, Houston Christian, and St. John’s.

SPC’s system for playoffs has a vastly different structure. For example, they play all of their playoff games within one weekend while TAPPS spread each round into consecutive weeks. This system has both pros and cons. These highly packed weekends are an intense two days of action leading to the crowning of a champion. However, it is hard to relish in the extremity of these games since they are crammed in such a short amount of time. SPC uses this structure for baseball, basketball, and soccer. For football, SPC takes the top two ranked teams for the championship game.

This information is not to favor SPC teams over TAPPS teams or vice versa. Comparing TAPPS and SPC is like comparing apples and oranges. Both organizations are competitive, athletic associations, and both have great things to them.


Simen Borland is a senior at St. Thomas. Besides being writer for The Eagle newspaper he likes to play sports. Baseballs, footballs, and basketballs are among his favorite sports. He is also apart of the world renown Eagle Guard, as seen at any STH football game. Hobbies of his include waterskiing, watching Netflix, and underwater basket weaving. Simen can be seen driving in his black LandCruiser SUV wearing his Costas, while only having fished a handful of times in his life. He plans to attend any college that will accept him.