East Texas Schools Brace For Monday Morning’s UIL Realignment And Reclassification
Every two years the University Interscholastic League reshuffles the deck, placing schools in new classifications and districts by using updated enrollment figures.
For the past several years, all of the suspense had been maintained until that day in early February when school district officials and coaches learned their new fates all at once.
This time around, however, the unknowns were cut in half when the UIL announced enrollment cutoff figures for each classification in December. The release, coupled with the "snapshot" enrollment numbers each school provided the UIL during the fall, allowed for each school to know where it stood in regard to classification.
There are also a couple of other new provisions. For the first time, there will be a Class 6A and six-man will now be referred to as 1A. In addition, districts in classes 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A will be divided into divisions in the same fashion 2A, 1A, and six-man schools are separated now.
Among the most anticipated news regarding Monday's realignment for East Texas centers on how the new Class 5A districts will be divided.
Longview and Lufkin both submitted enrollments below the cutoff for 6A, leaving Tyler Lee as the only East Texas representative in the state's new largest classification. Lufkin had been competing in a Houston-area 5A district for the last decade, but there is speculation the Panthers could return to East Texas and compete in a 5A district. That new 5A league might include some or all of Lufkin's old East Texas rivals, such as Longview, Marshall, John Tyler, and Nacogdoches.
Another hot topic is the potential for "District of Doom 3.0" in 4A Division I, which could include a core of Carthage, Kilgore, Henderson, and Chapel Hill. Those four have combined for seven state championships and nine title-game appearances since 2004. The two losses came to schools within that core: Henderson over Chapel Hill in the 2010 3A D-I title and Carthage over Kilgore in the 2013 3A D-I title.
All of these questions will be answered at 9 a.m. Monday when the UIL officially releases its biennial realignment and reclassification results.
UIL 2014-16 Realignment Classification Cutoff Numbers
- Class 6A: 2,100 students and above
- Class 5A: 1,060-2,099
- Class 4A: 465-1,059
- Class 3A: 220-464
- Class 2A: 105-219
- Class 1A: 104.9 and below
NOTE: Football in Classes 4A to 1A will be divided into two divisions. Here are the cutoff numbers for those divisions:
- Class 4A Division I: 686-1,059
- Class 4A Division II: 465-685
- Class 3A Division I: 315-464
- Class 3A Division II: 220-314
- Class 2A Division I: 158-219
- Class 2A Division II: 105-157
- Class A Division I: 55-104.9
- Class A Division II: 54 and below
For UIL snapshot enrollment figures for East Texas schools, click here.