BY CHRIS PARRY,
Goodbye East Texas and hello Garland ISD and Rockwall.
Robert E. Lee knew going into Monday morning’s biannual district realignment by the University Scholastic League that it would no longer be in a district with any school from the region.
That was decided a few months ago when the conference cutoff numbers were released and Lee was only school that was above the 2100 cutoff line for the new Class 6A.
So, the only question remaining was which Dallas-Fort Worth district would Lee be grouped into to?
Numerous scenarios were in play with one potential nightmare district of being grouped with defending state champion Cedar Hill and powerhouse DeSoto.
In the end, the UIL saw fit to place Lee in the new District 11-6A, along with Garland, Lakeview Centennial, Naaman Forest, Rowlett, Sachse, North Garland and Rockwall.
That means that for the first time since 2004, Lee will not be in a district with Mesquite ISD, which is now part of new District 10-6A that features Highland Park and Richardson ISD schools. Longview moves down into new Class 5A District 15-5A.
“We are saying goodbye to some pretty good folks with Longview and the Mesquite schools, but I am sure these guys are going to be (just as challenging),” Lee coach Darrell Piske said. “The tough part now is finding film on all of these guys. We don’t very much about them.”
Piske said the biggest thing that immediately comes into play with joining an eight-team district is REL had to drop an agreed non-district game against Texas High to keep the long-standing annual rivalry game with John Tyler in Week 3.
That means REL’s 2014 pre-district schedule begins with Keller Fossil Ridge on Week 1, Lufkin on Week 2 and John Tyler on Week 3 before starting District 11-6A play.
“You hate doing that to guys on realignment morning,” Piske said about having to drop Texas High. “But that is just part of it.”
Lee hasn’t faced a Garland ISD school in football since 2009 when the Red Raiders faced Garland in the area round of the playoffs. REL won that game 23-17.
Piske said the new eight-team district means simply eight teams fighting for four playoff spots.
“Us and Rockwall are going to be the two outside guys against Garland schools, so we’ll probably lose a lot of votes (at district meetings),” Piske said. “It’s going to work out fine.”
District 11-6A Glance
Teams: Garland, Lakeview Centennial, Naaman Forest, Rowlett, Garland Sachse, North Garland, Rockwall, Robert E. Lee.
School colors: Black and Gold
Last season: 5-5
Lee Record vs. all-time: 2-1
Notable: Lee has faced Garland twice in the playoffs in 2009 and 2004. The 2004 game was a bi-district win in which REL went on to win the school’s only state championship.
Garland Lakeview Centennial
Colors: Royal blue and Gold
Last season: 4-5
Lee record vs. all-time: 1-0
Notable: The 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 boys basketball teams finished as state runner-up.
Garland Naaman Forest
Colors: Green and White
Last Season: 5-6 (lost to Rockwall in bi-district, 41-31)
Lee record vs. all-time: 1-0
Notable: Boys basketball reached state championship game in 2012.
Colors: Maroon and White
Last season: 4-7 (lost in bi-district to Longview, 41-31)
Lee record vs. all-time: Never met
Notable: Rowlett won boys state championships in track and field in 2008 and 2009.
Colors: Navy blue, White and Orange
Last season 11-1 (lost in area to Dallas Skyline)
Lee record vs. All-Time: Never met
Notable: School opened in 2002; reached playoffs in football for first time in 2011
Colors: Red and Black
Last season: 0-10
Lee record vs. All-Time: 1-0
Notable: North Garland is 2-38 in football since 2010.
Colors: Orange and White
Last season: 6-6 (lost to Dallas Jesuit in area, 46-26)
Lee record vs. All-Time: 1-3
Notable: Girls basketball team won state championship in 2007, finishing with a 40-0 record; Rockwall has won last three meetings in football against Lee.