Who came away a winner and who didn't fair too well during 2024 UIL Realignment?
The Panthers and head coach Joe Gillespie come out big winners simply for remaining in a Central Texas district where they’ve shown the ability to compete well. It’s not a total win for Midway as they remained in District 12-6A matching up in bi-district with a brutal 11-6A that features two state champions and two regional finalists from 2023.
West Mesquite/North Mesquite
After struggling mightily the past few seasons in 5A-Division going east and south for the most part, Mesquite ISD’s two 5A-Division I programs got a ray of hope for the next two years getting aligned with Dallas ISD and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD schools. It’s not a guarantee either makes the playoffs, but the Wranglers and Stallions should be able to compete on more even terms.
The Blackcats have been banging their head in one of 4A-Division I’s toughest districts the past few years and then they’ve been unable to get past round two and the monsters from East Texas in the playoffs. This time the UIL threw Bay City a big curveball, but in a good way sending Bay City south into Region IV and District 15-4A Division I. Bay City will immediately vault to the top of the contender list in Region IV in this new alignment.
Congrats to Ruben Garcia and Kingsville for making the playoffs (along with the rest of 16-4A Division II) as the UIL split South Texas into two districts with Kingsville joining La Feria, Rio Grande City Grulla and Port Isabel in the postseason. The Brahmas, who are dropping down from Division I, expect to compete right away with Valley power Port Isabel for a district title and a prime playoff seed.
For Wink the district itself isn’t a big win, it’s kind of expected, but Brian Gibson has to be very happy the UIL put the Wildcats in a six-team district and he’s got to be even happier the Wildcats make the move back to Region I in Class 2A-Division II.
Princeton was in a tough spot either way, the Panthers knew they were jumping all the way from 5A-Division II to Class 6A, which is brutal in a vacuum, but there was hope they’d get a soft landing. Well that hope ended quickly Thursday morning as Princeton gets Allen, the Plano giants, Prosper and McKinney ISD to deal with in year one as a 6A school.
Joshua’s realignment draw is 100% self-inflicted, the Owls actually turned in a Division II enrollment but elected to opt up to Division I. This was done in hopes the Owls would get aligned to the west in a district they felt they could compete in a little better due to their struggles in Division II. Instead, Joshua got an absolute worst-case scenario as the Owls were shifted east into a monster district featuring Highland Park, Midlothian, Red Oak, Burleson Centennial, Tyler and Lufkin, so the Owls get an even tougher district than they’d have in Division II and they’ll have to travel further. There honestly may not be a bigger loser in this realignment.
South Oak Cliff/Port Neches-Groves
These two have matched up in the last two 5A-Division II state title games with SOC winning in 2022 and PNG returning the favor in 2023, many thought we’d see this matchup at AT&T Stadium for the third straight year. Instead the UIL shocked the entire state by shifting Port Neches-Groves and several other Southeast TX schools including Huntsville and Montgomery Lake Creek into Region II where the competition with SOC, Midlothian Heritage and Texarkana Texas High will be incredible come playoff time.
The Indians after tremendous seasons the past two years just barely ended up over the Division I/Division II split and will be in 3A-Division I the next two years, that’s bad enough. It went from bad to worse on Thursday as Comanche got a monster 3A-Division I district with powerful Jim Ned, a potent Clyde squad, a talented Sweetwater crew moving down from 4A and always tough Breckenridge.
Last year’s Region IV champions in 2A-Division II got a big surprise on Thursday as the Pirates landed in 10-2A Division II with Mart, the team that eliminated Chilton in the state semifinals a year ago. Mart, who generally lacks tough competition in district is surely welcoming the new challenge and the district also added Bremond who is most years plenty tough.
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