The 10 UIL Realignment Storylines to Watch

Photos by DCTF and Cade Jones

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The 2024 UIL Reclassification and Realignment takes place on Thursday and it's guaranteed to be a MUST-FOLLOW event.

Here are the 10 biggest storylines to watch for:

DeSoto - 6A or 5A Division I?

There’s been plenty of talk surrounding the status of two-time defending Class 6A-Division II state champion DeSoto and where the Eagles will land in realignment. When the class and division breaks were released, DeSoto turned in a number that puts them solidly in Class 5A-Divison I (as expected). The UIL listed DeSoto as a 5A Division I school in its school-by-school breakdown released in early December, but there are a lot of rumbling that DeSoto may be a late opt-up to 6A. Is that just talk or is there validity to that rumor?


Waco Midway - North or South?

In the 2020 UIL Realignment, Waco Midway moved north into a brutal DFW area district with state powers Duncanville and DeSoto, along with an improving Waxahachie squad and a Cedar Hill bunch that played for a state title in 2020. The Panthers posted a combined 3-16 mark in two seasons. The 2023 Panthers, who moved back to Central Texas in 2022, won a district title. It’s a 50/50 shot in our opinion on Midway going either direction. Thursday morning will be tense in McLennan County for new head coach Joe Gillespie.


Only Two Districts in 6A In the Valley and Laredo?

It seems to be a forgone conclusion that the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo area will be consolidated into two 6A districts. During the last alignment there were 18 teams (12 in the RGV, 6 in Laredo if you count Eagle Pass and Del Rio) spread into three six-team districts. There’s only 17-teams left as Mission and Brownsville Rivera dropped to 5A Division I and Brownsville Veterans Memorial bumped to 6A. The most logical conclusion is to send Eagle Pass and Del Rio north into San Antonio and combine the remaining 15 teams into two districts. This means the San Antonio area likely occupies District 29-30 and it could mean the Central Texas district, which was 12-6A, moves south into Region IV.


Heavy Travel Out in West Texas 5A Division I?

The UIL has a real dilemma on its hands in West Texas as shifting enrollment patterns in the Sun City leave just three El Paso schools sitting in 5A Division I (Bel Air, El Dorado and Americas), which doesn’t leave enough schools for a district. The closest schools to El Paso are the three Lubbock ISD schools (Coronado, Monterey and Lubbock High), but then the UIL would have to try and find a home for the three Amarillo ISD programs (Amarillo High, Tascosa and Caprock). However, Ysleta ISD, specifically El Paso Parkland, has apparently done everyone out west a favor by opting up to 5A Division I. This likely means El Paso will have a four-team district in 5A Division I, and Lubbock ISD and Amarillo ISD will pair with Abilene High for a seven-team district. The impacts on the rest of the state are significant because this would force the remaining 118 or so teams in 5A Division I to squeeze into 14 districts. Get ready to see a lot of nine-team districts in 5A Division I.


Victoria East On An Island in 5A Division I

Victoria East is in a precarious realignment situation as the Titans most likely won’t be with Victoria West or Corpus Christi ISD. After opting their schools up the past several alignments, Victoria ISD and Corpus Christi ISD made the decision to let their schools play where they landed. This left Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial as the only CCISD school in 5A Division I and East sitting all alone an hour north of Corpus. It’s likely Corpus Christi Vets and nearby Corpus Christi Flour Bluff go south either to the Valley or a Laredo-based district, but those trips appear to be long for Victoria East. Instead, East is likely getting sent west into a tough north San Antonio district. The true nightmare scenari is it goes north into Region III into a Houston-area district.


An East Texas Split in 5A Division II?

East Texas schools in 5A Division II have largely stayed together in a district unto themselves the previous two realignments. With more fringe DFW schools on the eastern edge of the Metroplex now (Corsicana, Ennis, Kaufman, Crandall, Terrell, Greenville, Mesquite Poteet), does the UIL do a more north/south alignment and split the schools in East Texas to pair with those DFW schools? It’s happened before!


Austin-Area Shakeup in 4A Division I

Austin ISD will have a heavy presence in 4A Division I as the district elected to not opt-up several of their 4A enrollment schools into Class 5A. Most notably in that mix is Austin LBJ, which went to a state semifinal and state title game when it was 4A in 2020 and 2021. Joining LBJ will be Austin Eastside, Austin Travis and Austin Northeast. The question will be who joins these schools in a district? The smart money is on charter schools Austin Achieve and Manor New Tech, which opted up to 4A Division I despite having Division II enrollments. But teams like Taylor, Burnet and Marble Falls could also be in play as well.


A New District of Doom in 4A Division II?

That title may be taken away from East Texas and moved to Central Texas, specifically the Waco area in 4A Division II as a power-packed district could emerge. Waco Connally has been the team of record in the area at the 4A Division II level over the past two seasons, but China Spring, who won state in 2021 and 2022, is making the drop to Division II after two seasons in Division I. Perennial power Waco La Vega is also dropping down to 4A Division II. To add to that, Lorena, a powerhouse in 3A Division I who also won a state title in 2021, is moving up from 3A Division I. All four of these teams will likely wind up in the same district that will be full of fireworks in October when district play gets cranked up.


A New Order in Class 3A Division I Region I?

Brock has absolutely dominated in 3A Division I Region I winning the regional crown in seven of the past nine seasons, but the Eagles are gone as they’ve moved on to Class 4A Division II. Does Brock’s departure open the door for a new power to emerge like Bushland? Or does Jim Ned, who took Brock down in 2020, take the crown back? Maybe a new power like a young, but super-talented Sweetwater squad down from Class 4A will emerge?


A New Contender Drops to 2A Division II, By Less Than One Student

That’s right less than one student, as Shiner, who turned in an enrollment number of 181, falls just under the 181.4 cut-off to be in 2A-Division I. That would place the 2020 and 2021 state champions in 2A Division I into Division II. The question is where does Shiner end up in Region IV and do the Comanches immediately vault to the top of the state rankings?


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