Every two years, the UIL shakes things up for Texas high school football teams.
Much of the time, realignment amounts to a little tweaking. But this year, it’s more like the districts were hit by a hurricane and blown all over creation.
The biggest letdown in the Tarrant County area has to be that Euless Trinity and Southlake Carroll will no longer be butting heads with anything at stake, starting this fall. Since 2014, those bullies (Carroll is No. 15 in the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Class 6A end-of-season poll; Trinity is No. 24) have put on some truly stunning displays of athletic prowess.
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Last fall, the Dragons from Southlake fell to the Trojans 21-20. That was a Week 6 blockbuster — Carroll was staked to a 17-point lead late in the first half.
In 2016, Carroll handled Trinity easily, 42-28, but the year before, it was another nail-biter that Trinity won 37-35.
▪ Carroll’s moving into District 5-6A, which is going to be a firecracker of a district. Seven of the eight teams made the playoffs last season, and the team that didn’t — Keller Timber Creek — got gosh-darn close, posting a 6-4 record and succumbing to a Keller Central overtime field goal to miss out.
Another fun fact about 5-6A is that Denton Guyer’s going to be in it. Those Wildcats were playing second fiddle to state behemoth Allen and might just find themselves in the same role now, but with the Dragons. And it’s going to be fun to watch that No. 1-in-the-nation Guyer boys basketball team take on squads like Keller and Carroll.
Along with those schools, that district has the rest of Keller plus Haslet Eaton and Trophy Club Nelson. Watch for a real nice rivalry to take root between the Keller and Northwest ISD schools as they squabble over the final two postseason slots behind Carroll and Guyer.
▪ You know you’re toast when Google Maps lists flight times to your district rivals’ stadiums.
The school that will suffer the most at the gas pump will be ... San Angelo Central. Those poor Bobcats are going to have to sit on a bus for nearly four hours to get to and from some of their games. Their district mates will be Abilene (about 90 miles), Trinity and Hurst L.D. Bell (about 250 miles), Haltom and Richland (about 235 miles), and Weatherford (about 200 miles).
Central football coach Brent Davis is less than pleased.
“In my experiences here in San Angelo for nine years, either us or Lake View is taking the brunt of everything for everybody else,” he told the San Angelo Standard-Times.
But the thinking was probably to get another big boy on the block. Nobody besides Trojans fans wants to see Trinity dance the Haka over the rest of the field.
▪ One district has 10 teams — 28-6A, in the San Antonio region — meaning district play starts in Week 2. That puts a real damper on booster-club fund raising. Six other districts have nine teams — 12-6A (Killeen-Waco-Temple), 25-6A (Austin area) and four in the Houston area — 14-6A, 15-6A, 17-6A and 22-6A.
On the flip side of the coin, when you delve into the smaller classes, you see districts with just four or five teams. Since four teams go to the playoffs, this doesn’t exactly make for a ton of drama.
In Class 2A Division I, Districts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 15 each have five teams. In District 1-2A Division II, all four teams — Iraan, McCamey, Van Horn and Wink — will all make the playoffs. Districts 9, 13 and 14 have five teams apiece.
In Class 3A Division I, everybody’s going from the four-team District 1 (Brownfield, Denver City, Kermit and Tornillo). District 1 in Division II is the same way — Alpine, Anthony, Big Lake Reagan and Crane, congrats for making the 2018 football playoffs. District 8 has just five teams.
Time for the Realigny Awards
▪ It always seems like Mansfield ISD schools are involved in a “district of doom,” and that hasn’t changed too much.
Class 6A Mansfield will be joined by new 6A Mansfield schools Lake Ridge and Summit, which will be fun. What won’t be fun is playing DCTF No. 5 DeSoto and No. 9 Cedar Hill for two of your 10 games. Ouch. At least Lake Ridge is ranked 17th in the same poll — among 5A teams.
For having so much talent that it’s actually kind of stupid, District 7-6A gets the What a Waste District award.
▪ The Gas Saver District award goes to District 6-5A in basketball. That conference has Fort Worth Arlington Heights, Carter-Riverside, Eastern Hills, North Side, Polytechnic, South Hills, Southwest and Wyatt. And that’s it.
Heck, kids could walk the mile and a half between South Hills and Southwest, and Western Hills to Arlington Heights is just a 10-minute jaunt.
▪ We have a tie for the Wheat From the Chaff District award. That is shared by Districts 4-5A and 5-5A. In 4-5A, Justin Northwest will be expected to shred its Fort Worth ISD foes to a pulp.
Much the same will hold true for DCTF No. 2 Aledo in 5-5A. The Bearcats’ rivals will include the likes of Arlington Seguin, Cleburne, Joshua and Waco University, who went a combined 7-33 last fall.