UIL realignment affects area bands

The Carter-Riverside High School marching band overachieved this season.

The 38-member band beat schools more than double its size to advance in 3A competitions and was an alternate to go to the state championships in San Antonio.

Next year, the job gets even tougher.

With 1,034 students, Carter-Riverside was bumped back up to 4A status and will compete against bands with 160 to 250-plus students.

"That's a huge difference, six to seven times our size," director Rosendo Sanchez said. "That doesn't mean we're not competitive. It just makes it that much more difficult to be competitive."

On Monday, the University Interscholastic League announced the new alignment for schools, which will affect various competitions, including band.

Polytechnic and Mineral Wells will move from 4A to 3A. Burleson and Mansfield Summit move from 5A to 4A, and Mansfield Legacy, Mansfield Timberview and Saginaw go from 4A to 5A.

The relatively new Saginaw marching band has been making a name for itself. It qualified for the state marching contest the two times it was eligible during 4A competition. The school opened in 2005.

But now, the school will be up against powerhouse bands such as L.D. Bell and Richland.

Bell was state champion in 2004 and placed second in 2006 and 2008. Richland made it to the state finals in 2008.

The 3A and 5A bands compete for the state title on alternating years from 4A bands, which means that Saginaw can compete for state in back-to-back years.

"The 5A bands in this part of the Metroplex are unbelievably competitive," Saginaw band director John Canfield said. "Some of those bands are excessively huge and that's a little intimidating in itself, but we're not shying away from that. We're taking it on."

Canfield, who oversees the 238-member band, said he had expected to move up to 5A soon. The growing school had 2,120 students during its official enrollment count for the state this fall.

"There's no more pressure than going into any other year," Canfield said. "We just try to put the best show out there."

EVA-MARIE AYALA, 817-390-7700