Taking a look at some of the biggest stories ahead for 2014

12/30/2013 12:00 AM

12/28/2013 11:21 PM

From all of us, we wish you the very best for peace, prosperity and success in 2014. We never know where the 365-day journey is going to take us. But let’s always remember that our family and friends are the ones who count more than whether our favorite teams won or lost.

This year should unveil some fascinating story lines. On this first day of the year, this is the ideal time to take a look at several.

UIL realignment

On Feb. 3, the University Interscholastic League will unveil the latest two-year setup. Of course, the high school governing body did Texas school districts a favor on Dec. 2 when it announced the enrollment cutoffs so schools could start putting together better non-district football schedules instead of scrambling. Remember, the UIL changed the enrollment classifications as 5A is now 6A, 4A is now 5A and so on. We will have eight teams in 6A with Justin Northwest, Byron Nelson, Keller, Keller Fossil Ridge, Keller Central, Keller Timber Creek, Carroll and Colleyville Heritage. Grapevine is the one that will drop back into 5A.

It’s a worthless exercise to suggest we know how this is going to go and who will be teamed up with whom. Nonetheless, I do believe the four Keller schools, Northwest and Nelson will be together. Those six schools seem to be a natural fit. The wildcard here is what will happen with Haltom and Richland. Carroll and Colleyville Heritage are located about five miles away from each other but generally aren’t together. But they may this time, since Grapevine has dropped down. As for the Grapevine, there are too many scenarios. This school could go west, east or north.

The new GCISD Executive Athletic Director

By the end of this month, we will know who will be taking the lead for athletics in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District. By the sound of things, some college administrators have demonstrated some interest in the position. That could be a good thing. Coaches at both Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine will go through a major adjustment period.

Some of the new way of doing business will make sense. Some of it will cause frustration. There is always the potential of some turnover, but there are some really good coaches in the district. That happens every year. In my opinion, the athletes and programs are a sleeping giant and need that little extra oomph to take them to state championship levels. Hopefully, the new leader’s vision will reflect that.

The Northwest-Northwest Byron Nelson rivalry

We saw some glimpses of it with the boys basketball game at Nelson in November. It was a great start. Now, envision Northwest ISD Stadium on that selected date in the fall for the first football game.

If that stadium has an empty seat in it, I will be shocked. Hopefully, it will be on the final regular season date. Before that, we’ll have the first meeting in volleyball, probably in September. This will be a good rivalry between these two.

Given what I heard about the basketball game, it will be healthy and respectful, too. The talent at Northwest is on the rise. There are good coaches in place at each school. Let the fun begin.

Repeat after me

This spring should be really interesting for our area. It should start in late February when the Carroll boys and girls swimming programs try to repeat as state champions. Then we’ll fast forward to late April, to the state girls golf tournament, to see if the Byron Nelson girls can return to defend their state championship and then successfully repeat.

In mid-May, I want to see if Northwest senior pole vault specialist Desiree Freier can make it a three-peat and somehow challenge the 14-foot barrier. And we can’t forget the fall, where the Carroll boys and girls cross country teams will be going for four in row.

Big coaching name – coming or going?

Admittedly, this is a little open-ended, because you really can’t call the when or how of these things. We may not have a move. But then, we didn’t know in 2013 that Aledo girls basketball coach Rusty Johnson, who just took his team to the Class 4A state tournament in March, was going to up and leave that program to take on the challenge at Northwest. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open.

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