The number of the classification will be different. A couple of new faces will arrive. But after Monday's biennial UIL realignment, it's official: East Texas' District of Doom is alive and well.

This year's realignment, which takes effect in the fall and remains through the spring 2016 semester, sends reigning Class 3A Division I state champion Carthage to the new District 9-4A Division I with 3A D-I runner-up Kilgore and recent 3A D-I champions Chapel Hill and Henderson. Palestine and Brownsboro round out the newest version of the "District of Doom," which for the first team will compete in the football postseason in Region III instead of Region II.

Texas High assistant athletic director Kyle Preston (left) and Kilgore head coach Mike Wood (center) look over new districts during Monday's UIL realignment meeting at Region VII Education Services Center in Kilgore. (Christopher Vinn,

"We have a lot of good friends over there and we know (those teams) are going to be well-coached and have great teams," said Carthage head coach Scott Surratt. "We're very excited. We're not like we're calling out anybody, that's for sure, but we are excited about the challenge. It's a fun district to be in."

Carthage has prior District of Doom experience as a charter member of what has become known across the state as East Texas' marquee district. The Bulldogs, who went 9-1 in two seasons in the District of Doom, won the league title in 2010 -- the first season of its existence -- en route to their third consecutive Class 3A Division II state championship. In 2011, Carthage finished second behind Gilmer after falling 39-36 at Buckeye Stadium in a District of Doom classic.

That remains Carthage's only district loss in Surratt's tenure. He is 32-1 in league play since arriving prior to the 2007 season.

While Carthage, Palestine, and Brownsboro give the District of Doom three fresh faces, a few familiar ones are gone: Gilmer, Gladewater, Bullard, and Spring Hill.

Gilmer, Gladewater, and Spring Hill competed in the District of Doom in all of its first four seasons, while Bullard played in the league the last two seasons. That leaves Henderson as the only school in the new District of Doom that has played in it since its inception.

Palestine head coach Lance Angel (center) talks on the phone during Monday's UIL realignment meeting at Kilgore's Region VII Education Services Center. (Christopher Vinn,

The traditionally 3A district has the new 4A tag thanks to the UIL's addition of a Class 6A and decision to call six-man the new Class A. Generally speaking, in name, that bumped 1A to 2A, 2A to 3A, 3A to 4A, and 4A to 5A.

"I think it's another good East Texas district. You lose Gilmer, but you gain Carthage and another playoff-caliber team in Palestine," said Kilgore head coach Mike Wood. "I think it's moving from one great district into another."

While Buckeye fans will undoubtedly miss big October and November matchups with teams such as Kilgore, Henderson, Chapel Hill, and Carthage, the move out of the district isn't a lose-lose proposition, according to head coach Jeff Traylor.

"On one hand I hate it, because those are some great rivalries and great games," said Traylor, who led Gilmer to an 11-2 record and District of Doom runner-up finish in 2013. "On the other side of it, if you want to keep your job it's probably a good idea you don't play those guys."

Gilmer's only two district losses since 2001 came in District of Doom play: 38-21 at Carthage in 2010 and 34-29 at Kilgore in 2013.

The district's quality was once again proven in the 2013 postseason, when Kilgore, Gilmer, Chapel Hill, and Gladewater combined to go 13-4 with Kilgore's 3A D-I state title appearance. Chapel Hill went 6-4 in the regular season and won three playoff games before falling to Kilgore in the D-I Region II championship. Gladewater entered the playoffs 4-6, won three consecutive games, then lost to eventual state champion Argyle in the D-II Region II title bout.

Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor checks his phone during Monday's UIL realignment meeting at the Region VII Education Services Center in Kilgore. (Christopher Vinn,

With defending 3A D-I champion Carthage and a seven-win playoff team in Palestine joining Kilgore and Henderson, Chapel Hill head coach Thomas Sitton the district will once again be loaded.

"It's going to be a tough district. All the teams in there play a high level of football. You're going to have to come ready to go every Friday night," Sitton said. "(The players) are going to have to work hard this offseason and get their minds ready for some good football."

From a travel standpoint, Carthage is a big winner in the new alignment. The Bulldogs' old district gave them only one trip closer than 68 miles (Center at 29.7). While Brownsboro and Palestine are hauls, trips to Henderson, Chapel Hill, and Kilgore are all shorter than 55 miles.

On the other hand, Palestine not only moves into a tougher district, but travel increases significantly. The Wildcats' closest football trip will be Brownsboro 54 miles away, while the trek to Carthage is 86 miles, though somewhat stomachable thanks to U.S. 79.

The UIL's newly instituted predetermined divisional separation in 4A was the reason for Gilmer, Gladewater, Bullard, and Spring Hill's leaving the District of Doom. With Division I including schools with enrollments from 686 to 1,059, none of them was large enough to go D-I.

With 685 students, Gilmer is the state's largest 4A D-II school. The Buckeyes will head west to District 5-4A D-II with Bullard, Canton, Emory Rains, Melissa, and Nevada Community.

"Very shocking, but I've done this long enough now that everything I think is going to happen never does," Traylor said of the new district. "You get used to that."

Gladewater and Spring Hill will compete in District 6-4A D-II along with Atlanta, Center, Tatum, and Pleasant Grove. Tatum, which saw its enrollment jump from 448 to more than 500 for this realignment cycle, makes the jump from the old 2A to the new 4A D-II.

The aforementioned district alignments regards football only. Teams from the new District of Doom in football will compete in four different districts in other sports: Brownsboro in 14-4A, Kilgore and Chapel Hill in 16-4A, Palestine in 18-4A, and Carthage and Henderson in 19-4A.

District 9-4A Division I

2014-16 Alignment (Football Only)


Carthage Bulldogs

  • 2013 finish: 15-1 overall, 4-0 in District 20-3A, Class 3A Division I state champion
  • District travel distances (miles)
    • Henderson: 27.2
    • Kilgore: 42.7
    • Chapel Hill: 52.3
    • Brownsboro: 78.2
    • Palestine: 86.8


Kilgore Bulldogs

  • 2013 finish: 14-1 overall, 6-0 in District 16-3A, Class 3A Division I state finalist
  • District travel distances (miles)
    • Henderson: 18.2
    • Chapel Hill: 25.7
    • Carthage: 42.7
    • Brownsboro: 45.5
    • Palestine: 70.5


Chapel Hill Bulldogs

  • 2013 finish: 9-5 overall, 4-2 in District 16-3A, Class 3A Division I Region II finalist
  • District travel distances (miles)
    • Henderson: 25.3
    • Kilgore: 25.6
    • Brownsboro: 27.6
    • Carthage: 52.3
    • Palestine: 55.3


Palestine Wildcats

  • 2013 finish: 7-4 overall, 4-1 in District 19-3A, Class 3A Division I Region III bi-district finalist
  • District travel distances (miles)
    • Brownsboro: 54.1 (via Athens)
    • Chapel Hill: 55.3
    • Henderson: 61.4
    • Kilgore: 70.5
    • Carthage: 86.8


Henderson Lions

  • 2013 finish: 3-7 overall, 2-4 in District 16-3A
  • District travel distances (miles)
    • Kilgore: 18.2
    • Chapel Hill: 25.3
    • Carthage: 27.2
    • Brownsboro: 51.9
    • Palestine: 61.4


Brownsboro Bears

  • 2013 finish: 2-8 overall, 0-5 in District 15-3A
  • District travel distances (miles)
    • Chapel Hill: 27.6
    • Kilgore: 45.5
    • Henderson: 51.9
    • Palestine: 54.1
    • Brownsboro: 78.2