‘What high school athletics is about’: O’Connor football coach talks rivalry vs Brandeis, KSAT Pigskin Classic

Kickoff between Panthers, Broncos set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26

SAN ANTONIO – The O’Connor Panthers will face the Brandeis Broncos in a rivalry game on Saturday, Aug. 26 — the final game of the 2023 KSAT Pigskin Classic, a nightcap to a triple-header in the Alamodome.


The second annual KSAT Pigskin Classic will kick off the 2023 high school football season and be broadcast live on KSAT 12 and all KSAT digital platforms.

This year, the event is even bigger, with eight teams facing off over two days in front of thousands of screaming fans. You can learn more about all the games, tickets and more by clicking here.

The showdown between the Panthers and Broncos is a revival of last year’s season opener, a game that Brandeis won, 27-17.

Kickoff between the Panthers and Broncos is set for 7:30 p.m.


Preview: Panthers vs. Broncos

O'Connor versus Brandeis, KSAT Pigskin Classic 2023 (KSAT)

Last season didn’t go according to plan for the Panthers, as they finished with just a 4-6 record, winning all four of their games during district play.

Determined to get off to a fast start this year, they hope to rebound against their rival in the Alamodome.

In an interview with KSAT 12 Sports, O’Connor Head Football Coach David Malesky said when O’Connor and Brandeis play, you can throw records and the previous years out.

He called the rivalry a “daggum battle” and a heck of a football game each and every year. Watch the full interview at the top of this article.

“We’re really grateful to be a part of this and play the game, with the rivalry that O’Connor-Brandeis already is anyway and now it’s just magnified in terms of being in the Alamodome,” Malesky said.

He said the game is as intense as other rivalry games across the state, comparing it to the Lone Star Showdown in college football, between the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies.

“It’s what Texas and (Texas) A&M used to be. But they’re not playing anymore, but we are. We’re not in the same district, but we’re still playing. I know when we found out that we’re going to be in different districts it’s important that we continue to play each other, just because of that rivalry. It’s what high school athletics is about,” Malesky said.

Malesky noted that he and Brandeis Head Football Coach Charles Bruce have a friendly history that goes way back to high school, but for three hours on Saturday, he won’t like him.

“My mom and his mom, when we were in high school they went to games together, so I’ve known Charlie for a long, long time. So it’s more than just a friendship, we grew up together and Charlie’s done an incredible job everywhere he’s been and he’s a great guy and his kids do things the right way because of his leadership,” Malesky said. “(Just) being able to play a huge rival like that, against a team that is similar, in terms of coaching and things (it’s) because Charlie and I grew up together.”

Makesky said playing in the KSAT Pigskin Classic will be a great experience not just for the kids playing, but for the entire community of O’Connor and others as well.

“The other thing that I am kinda excited about is that it is going to give people that might not normally see what the rivalry is about, an opportunity to see it and kind of feel it,” he said.

About the KSAT Pigskin Classic

The second-annual KSAT Pigskin Classic will kick off Aug. 25 and 26 at San Antonio’s Alamodome and tickets are now on sale.


All the games will be broadcast on KSAT 12, on the KSAT Plus app, the Big Game Coverage app and on KSAT.com.

This year’s KSAT Pigskin Classic is even bigger than last year’s inaugural event, with four high school football games over two fun-filled days to kick off the Texas high school football season.

Thousands will watch Antonian play Holy Cross, Southside take on Somerset, Jefferson face Uvalde and O’Connor versus Brandeis.

Download the Big Game Coverage mobile app or visit the Big Game Coverage section for high school sports coverage, including game livestreams, from KSAT 12.

About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.