2020 Class 6A Region I Outlook
Plenty of shake-ups after UIL Realignment in Region I as the complexion of the regional race changes with the I-20 corridor district south of Dallas moving to Region II. We start in the Sun City, where the district grew to an eight-team loop with the addition of Eastwood and Eastlake up from 5A. Americas appears to be the favorite, but teams two through six could finish in any order as parity rules once again.
The “Little SWC” is back for the most part as Abilene High and San Angelo Central are back from a two-year stay in DFW. Look for Abilene High to return to the playoffs after a three-year absence, while San Angelo will challenge Odessa Permian for the second spot; Midland Lee after an 11-2 season in 2019 is the front-runner.
The configuration of the West Tarrant County district changes some with Boswell and Chisolm Trail replacing the two West Texas teams and North Crowley replacing Richland. Trinity is the clear front-runner, but HEBISD rival Bell may finally have a chance to break out for a playoff spot. North Crowley may also be a big winner in this new alignment.
District 4-6A is relatively untouched with the exception of Denton Guyer leaving. Southlake Carroll is a massive favorite, while Eaton and Byron Nelson appear ahead of the Keller ISD schools. The two teams to watch are Keller and Timber Creek; if they BOTH make the playoffs, Southlake Carroll slides to Division II.
District 5-6A is one that really caught a lot of people off guard at realignment. Essentially a Highway 380 district was created with Allen being thrown in. On paper, Allen looks vulnerable. But can a Guyer squad led by a new coach and a Texas A&M QB commit Eli Stowers, who is coming off a significant injury suffered in the state title game, hand the Eagles their first district loss in what seems like forever? Prosper had a big run last year but graduated heavy, while McKinney, after a surprise trip to the area playoffs, brings back a boatload of skill talent. Denton Braswell makes the huge leap from 5A-Division II to 6A and it may need a year to adjust.
District 6-6A has some of the state’s largest schools, and Hebron, with an enrollment well north of 3,700, could wind up in Division II. Marcus has enough back to get the nod over Hebron and Lewisville, while Plano looks to bounce back under a new head coach. Flower Mound lost a ton and, although Plano East should be improved, the Panthers may not be able to sneak into the top four this year.
Irving ISD got a great draw with realignment and should compete better against Richardson ISD. In fact, MacArthur is a sleeper playoff team this year. Jesuit rules the roost, while Pearce overtakes a Lake Highlands squad that was hit hard by graduation. Richardson High could be the team keeps IISD out of the playoffs; they’ll battle with Irving Mac for fourth.
Arlington ISD and Grand Prairie ISD are united for the first time in the same district since the 1970s, but Arlington ISD has the two powers in Martin and Arlington High. South Grand Prairie is a solid bet for third, while Bowie and Lamar should battle it out for fourth. Sam Houston will be improved simply due to experience, but beating Bowie and Lamar will be a tall task for the Texans.
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