Realignment quick hits
Some initial thoughts on the UIL realignment.
It’s UIL Realigment Day, which is one of my favorite nerdy holidays. It’s a data dump from the UIL, and the speculation is run amok. We have new districts for the next two seasons, and there’s a lot to digest.
This is by no means a comprehensive overview, but rather a stream of consciousness of thoughts as I go through the realignments. We’ll break this down further over the next few weeks and months, but here are some initial thoughts in each classification.
-Notable teams making the jump from 5A (last year’s 4A) to 6A: Amarillo, Highland Park, Denton Guyer, Humble Summer Creek, Leander Rouse, Montgomery, SA Brennan, Pearland Dawson and Wolfforth Frenship. No surprises, really; we saw this coming.
-Yes, it’s going to take a while to get used to Class 6A. We’re all in that boat together.
-West Texas got its wish: two full districts (2-6A and 3-6A) instead of one big mega-district. District 3-6A keeps the Little Southwest Conference alive and well.
-We knew it was coming (or, at least, we thought we knew it was coming), but now it’s official: get your tickets for the Denton Guyer-Denton Ryan 5-6A matchup right now.
-Boy, a nine-team district in 6-6A, huh? Allen is your clear favorite, but there are a lot of landmines there, including Plano East, Plano West and Hebron.
-District 7-6A is your District of Doom. Three legit state title contenders in Euless Trinity, Southlake Carroll and Coppell, plus salty Colleyville Heritage and L.D. Bell teams? Yikes.
-It’s official: Highland Park is 6A, getting lumped in with Mesquite and Richardson schools. Welcome to the biggest stage, Scotties.
-District 13-6A is going to be an absolute bear as well as Leander Rouse joins the Pflugerville and Round Rock schools.
-6A newcomer Montgomery sure didn’t get any favors, getting lumped in with the Klein and Spring teams. Same with Humble Summer Creek, in with the likes of The Woodlands and Atascocita. Of course, that makes a ton of sense geographically.
-District 21-5A was enormously difficult. District 21-6A is exactly the same as the now-former 21-5A. Ergo, 21-6A is a beast.
-Anyone else excited about the three district games between Manvel, Pearland and Pearland Dawson in 22-6A?
-District 25-6A doesn’t get any easier, as Cibolo Steele rejoins its San Antonio brethren after a two-year stint with the Corpus Christi schools. Big win for CCISD to get away from Steele, big loss for teams like Smithson Valley and Converse Judson.
-We knew it was coming with Brennan moving up to 6A, but the 10-yeam District 27-6A is going to be a dogfight.
-Reshuffling in the Valley, as the La Joya schools – previously paired with the Edinburg schools – instead get McAllen, while the Edinburg schools get Weslaco and PSJA schools. Tough sledding for Edinburg.
-Notable teams dropping down to 5A: Abilene Cooper, A&M Consolidated, Fort Bend Bush, Fort Bend Elkins, Longview, Lufkin, Mansfield Timberview, Mission Sharyland, PSJA, Temple.
-Notable teams moving up to 5A: Frisco Lone Star, Lubbock Cooper.
-This is the class with the most controversy, for better or for worse.
-Abilene Cooper got an absolute gift from the UIL gods, getting paired with the Lubbock schools instead of the Amarillo schools.
-District 5-5A is an odd group, stretching from Fort Worth north to Denton all the way west to Wichita Falls. I understand why they’re doing that, but it’s just odd.
-Fort Worth ISD has to be celebrating; they got away from Aledo! The Bearcats get moved into District 8-5A with the Burleson schools as well as Everman and Cleburne.
-The district causing the most buzz: District 16-5A, where newcomer Lufkin got lumped into East Texas instead of the Piney Woods, joining the likes of Ennis, Corsicana, Whitehouse and John Tyler. That’s a really tough district, and a bit of a baffling one; why not put Lufkin in District 18-5A with Bryan, College Station and Huntsville?
-District 17-5A is absolutely menacing. Temple and Waco join Elgin and Manor plus Pflugerville Connally and Hutto.
-Check out District 21-5A: Humble schools, Barbers Hill, Crosby, Dayton, Galena Park? That’s a mishmash of differing styles and abilities.
-Texas City in with the Fort Bend schools in District 23-5A? Yes please.
-District 24-5A is going to be a lot of fun: Port Lavaca Calhoun, Rosenberg Terry, George Ranch, Angleton.
-District 25-5A lost Leander Rouse and gained the Georgetown schools. Not sure if the coaches are happy or hurt by that.
-Behold the new split divisions! Another thing that’ll take some getting used to.
-Notable teams dropping down to Class 4A: Bay City, Dallas Carter, Dallas Lincoln, Little Cypress-Mauriceville.
-Notable teams moving up to 4A: Bushland, Godley, Tatum.
-The toughest district has to be District 4-4A DI, with Abilene Wylie, Big Spring, Snyder and Stephenville. There are no off weeks in that one.
-Weird district in 6-4A DI, with Dallas Carter and Wilmer-Hutchins joining far-north teams Argyle and Sanger. That should provide some interesting matchups.
-The District of Doom is no more, but District 9-4A DI holds its place, with Carthage, Henderson, Kilgore and Tyler Chapel Hill still holding it down.
-Bay City and El Campo are back in the same district! One of the great rivalries in all of Texas high school football is now a district game again.
-Speaking of rivalries, it’s a bit of a shame that Burnet and Liberty Hill got split up. That’s a fierce one.
-I think District 3-4A DII could be a lot of fun. Celina’s the clear frontrunner, but if Krum or Anna take a step forward, plus a solid Bridgeport team, who knows?
-Gilmer is simultaneously giddy and upset. Giddy: the district they’re in (5-4A DII) is absolutely theirs to lose. Upset: that’s a lot of travel.
-Gladewater-Tatum is going to be epic ion District 6-4A DII.
-A few clear favorites elsewhere, like Coldspring-Oakhurst in 8-4A DII, West Orange-Stark in 9-4A DII and La Marque in 10-4A DII. But 11-4A DII will be aesome with La Grange, Giddings and what I think could be a resurgent Smithville team.
-District 15-4A DII is a dogfight every week, with Cuero, Ingleside and Sinton.
-Notable teams dropping down to 3A: Glen Rose, Mineola, Shallowater.
-Notable teams moving up to 3A: San Angelo TLC.
-Right off the bat, District 1-3A DI should be fun with dropdown Amarillo River Road, Littlefield and Muleshoe. Same goes for 2-3A DI, where Denver City and Shallowater will duke it out again.
-District 7-3A DI is a gauntlet. Daingerfield, New Boston, Redwater, plus Mount Vernon? No thanks.
-As someone pointed out on Twitter, very cool to see Cameron Yoe back in the same district as Rockdale. That’s a fun rivalry. Lump in Lago Vista and Troy, and you’ve got a solid district all around in 10-3A DI.
-The rare 8-team district in 2-3A DII, and it won’t be short on drama: Cisco, Eastland, Holliday and Nocona are all salty.
-I’m really looking forward to District 7-3A DII and 8-3A DII. Not only in district play (Hughes Springs, Paul Pewitt, DeKalb in 7, Arp, Elysian Fields, Frankston, Troup, Waskom in 8), but in bi-district play as well.
-District 13-3A DII doesn’t look like it will challenge East Bernard too much, but don’t sleep on Danbury; they can play.
-The best news for Taft, Freer, Skidmore-Tynan, Santa Gertrudis Academy and Hebbronville: they’re not in Refugio’s district anymore!
-Notable teams dropping down to 2A: Canadian, Clarksville, Crawford, Groveton, Johnson City, Refugio, Schulenburg
-Notable teams moving up to 2A: Frost.
-One of West Texas’ finest rivalries is back in business with Canadian and Stratford, but that’s only part of the puzzle for District 1-2A DI. Add in Panhandle, West Texas, state champ Wellington and dropdown Boys Ranch, and you have one of the toughest districts in the state.
-Bosqueville and Mart remain in the same district, which is good, because those two teams know how to battle one another.
-District 15-2A DI is the other district with a claim to Toughest In The Division. State finalist Shiner, state finalist Refugio, always-dangerous Ganado and dropdown Schulenburg, plus Weimar makes it absolutely unbelievable.
-District 10-2A DII got the very tough 8-team draw, and it’s not exactly a cakewalk for anyone. Frost is a dropdown, Chilton’s always dangerous, Hubbard’s a juggernaut and Italy is not to be forgotten.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.