Ask any high school football coach in Texas right now, "What's new?" and their answer is consistent: "Oh, just awaiting Realignment."
February 1st at 9 a.m. the UIL will release the Reclassification and Realignment for the 2008-2010 school years.
While it's always a mystery which teams will move up a classification, which teams will drop, and which districts will remain unaffected we do have a pretty good idea of some of the changes that are in store for our Texomaland teams.
The UIL has already come out with a change at the 4A level that will put 4 teams into the playoffs of all the team sports, so that would figure to eliminate most of the 6 team districts in 4A. As far as the current 5-4A district is concerned there doesn't appear to be much change. We have heard that both Paris and North Lamar are dropping to the 3A level, so that would keep Sherman and Denison from going east. Of the 3 Denton schools, Guyer has the highest enrollment, but their coach is confident that they will stay at the 4A level. So those 2 things would keep the current 5-4A district intact. However, there is talk that Little Elm could be shifted into that district to create an 8 team district. But, that scenario appears unlikely.
The UIL has already kind of tipped their hand for district 9-3A with the "mid-term" realignment they did with Whitesboro and Pilot Point. Every sport except football this school year shifted out of 9-3A and went west. That would figure to hold true for football as well come Feb. 1. We have heard that Anna will shift up to 3A as will Aubrey. Van Alstyne, like they were 2 years ago, figures to be squarely on the bubble between staying 3A or dropping to 2A. Frisco Wakeland is headed to 4A for sure, and it appears that Pottsboro will stay in 2A. Bonham has an interesting situation with the Paris schools dropping to 3A they could go east, with Farmersville and Aubrey moving up to 3A, they could go south, or they could stay with the remaining portion of their current district. 3A in Texoma is completely up in the air at this point.
It appears that the current 13-2A district will cease to exist come Feb 1. With Famersville, Anna and Aubrey all figured to be headed up to 3A, and Blue Ridge dropping to 1A, that will leave Melissa and Leonard in no-mans-land. All of the schools that currently makeup 14-2A look like they will all stay in 2A. However with Melissa and Leonard out east, that could break things up. Whitewright, Bells, Tom Bean and Howe could join up with those 2 to form a 6 team district. That would send Gunter, S&S, Pottsboro and Callisburg either west or south. I for one, really like the current 14-2A and hope it survives intact.
Valley View looks to be headed up to 2A, and St. Jo is dropping to 6-man, so that leaves Collinsville all alone. Wherever they end up going, they're probably looking a some fairly hefty travel times for district games. Coach David told me a few days ago that there is a chance, however slight, that they could end up in a district with Lindsay, Muenster and all of the Wichita Falls area schools like Winthorst, Electra. But they could also hook up with Blue Ridge and head southeast. Whatever happens with the Pirates, it appears that Lindsay and Muenster will remain in a district with each other.
I don't know if that makes things more or less confusing, but there you go. I can't wait for February 1st.
Mark Van Paasschen