New districts: UIL releases its realignment

Published on Monday, 3 February 2014 21:51 - Written by PHIL HICKS phicks@tylerpaper.com

Realignment Day is viewed with anticipation and apprehension by area coaches and athletic directors.

And that was the way it was on Monday when the University Interscholastic League, which governs public schools in Texas, released its biennial realignment.

The new alignments, established by enrollment figures submitted to the UIL by its member schools in October, will serve as the football and basketball districts for the next two school years.

The new district alignments begin with volleyball and football in the fall of 2014. Each classification has a new name. Six-man football is now known as Class 1A, 1A is now 2A; 2A is 3A; 3A is 4A; 4A is 5A and 5A is 6A.

The realignment also caused coaches to start scrambling for nondistrict opponents and athletic directors to calculate expenses depending on travel for the sports.

Tyler officials knew in December that Robert E. Lee High School would be the lone Class 6A (old Class 5A) in East Texas (Lee was the only school with enrollment of 2,100 or above), but the Red Raiders did not know which Metroplex schools would be their new playmates.

Lee and Rockwall, from the old District 12-5A, will now be in District 11-6A with six Garland schools instead of the Mesquite schools. REL and Rockwall will join Garland, Garland Lakeview Centennial, Garland Naaman Forest, Garland Rowlett, Garland Sachse and North Garland.

“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 football coach Darrell Piske said. “The tough part now is finding film on all of these guys. We don’t know very much about them.”

In Class 5A (old 4A), it was thought John Tyler, Longview and Lufkin would be grouped together to form an old rivalry trio. However, that was not to be.

JT is still in District 16-5A with Whitehouse, Lindale, Jacksonville, Nacogdoches and Corsicana. But that group will be joined by Lufkin and Ennis to make a spread-out league.

“That’s a long haul from Lufkin to Ennis,” Whitehouse football coach Adam Cook said. “That was probably a big surprise to me. Now sitting back from a competition standpoint, it ought to be a very good district. … A lot of great teams, a lot with great history. A lot of fun.”

Longview moved down a classification and will now be in District 15-5A with Greenville, Hallsville, Pine Tree, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs and Texas High.

In the new 4A, there are a couple of Districts of Doom.

In Class 9-4A Division I, Kilgore and Carthage, who met in the state title game last season, will be in the same league.

They are joined by Chapel Hill, Henderson, Palestine and Brownsboro. Kilgore, CH and Henderson were part of that tough District 16-3A the last two seasons.

The other four members — Bullard, Gilmer, Gladewater and Spring Hill — are in 4A Division II.

Bullard and Gilmer are now in District 5-4A Division II with Canton, Rains, Melissa and Nevada Community.

Spring Hill joined Gladewater, Atlanta, Center, Tatum and Pleasant Grove in District 6-4A Division II.

For more on the realignment and the districts around the state, please see sports and etfinalscore.com.

Chris Parry, Shane Stark and Travis Yoesting contributed to this report.