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Longview + Lufkin’s “Drop” in Classification Makes For Interesting East Texas 5A Districts

Lufkin coach Todd Quick (center) looks on during a Panthers’ practice on Aug. 14, 2013. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Ever since the UIL released conference cutoff numbers for the 2014-16 realignment and reclassification back in December, all of East Texas was anticipating where longtime rivals Longview and Lufkin would fit.

They got their answer Monday morning with the UIL’s unveiling of the new districts.

Longview turned in an enrollment of 2,057.5, while Lufkin reported a total of 2,088 — both under 6A cutoff of 2,100. But much to the dismay of hardcore fans from each school, neither Longview or Lufkin were paired in the same league.

The Lobos were placed in 15-5A along with Greenville, Hallsville, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Pine Tree, Sulphur Springs and Texas High.

Longview assistant athletic director Johnny Hamilton (left) looks over the UIL’s 2014 realignment and reclassification packet at the Region VII Educational Services Center in Kilgore on Monday morning.

Lufkin, which has spent the last decade in a Houston-area district, is back in East Texas but with a caveat. The Panthers will rekindle old district rivalries with John Tyler and Nacogdoches as well as face East Texas programs Jacksonville, Lindale and Whitehouse in 16-5A. But also included in the district are Corsicana and Ennis. According to Google Maps, Lufkin is 151 miles from Ennis and 134 from Corsicana.

“For the most part it went the direction we thought,” said Lufkin athletic director and head football coach Todd Quick. “I was little surprised about Corsicana and Ennis, but it is what it is.”

Lufkin has not shared a district with longtime rival Nacogdoches since 2001 or John Tyler since 2003.

“We were down the last (several) years toward Houston,” Quick said. “But we’re still an East Texas team, we have the same type kids they have. Now we have the same (enrollment) numbers everybody else has. We never completely went away; we’ve had JT, Longview and (Tyler Lee) always on the schedule.”

Lufkin, which finished 5-6 and lost in the bi-district round of the 5A Division II playoffs in 2013, will play Longview in its season opener and follow that up with non-district games against Tyler Lee and Lafayette La.’s Acadiana High School at Shreveport’s annual Battle on the Border.

Longview’s been down this road before, having dropped from 5A to 4A prior to the 2008 football season. The Lobos reached the 4A Division I state title games in both ’08 and ’09, losing to Lake Travis in both instances.

The Lobos’ new district is virtually identical to their 13-4A district from 2008 and 2009, except for the addition of Greenville. Longview’s non-district schedule begins with Lufkin, followed by John Tyler, and Monroe, La.’s Neville High School at the annual Battle on the Border in Shreveport.

Longview’s Dezmond Chumley fires a pass during the Lobos’ third-round playoff loss to A&M Consolidated in Midlothian on Nov. 30, 2013. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

District 15-5A

Greenville Lions

  • Enrollment: 1,070
  • 2013 finish: 0-10 (0-7 in 13-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Marshall (130 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Sulphur Springs (32.7 miles)

 

Hallsville Bobcats

  • Enrollment: 1,381
  • 2013 finish: 6-5 — 4A Division II bi-district finalist (3-2 in 14-4A)
  • Further district opponent: Greenville (118 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Longview (10.5 miles)

 

Longview Lobos

  • Enrollment: 2,057.5
  • 2013 finish: 11-2 — 5A Division II regional semifinalist (6-0 in 12-5A)
  • Further district opponent: Greenville (97.5 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Pine Tree (4 miles)

 

Marshall Mavericks

  • Enrollment: 1,393
  • 2013 finish: 3-8 — 4A Division I bi-district finalist (2-3 in 14-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Greenville (130 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Hallsville (16.6 miles)

 

Mount Pleasant Tigers

  • Enrollment: 1,458
  • 2013 finish: 4-6 (1-4 in 14-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Greenville (69.6 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Sulphur Springs (39.7 miles)

 

Pine Tree Pirates

  • Enrollment: 1,278
  • 2013 finish: 3-7 (0-5 in 14-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Greenville (94.3 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Longview (4 miles)

 

Sulphur Springs Wildcats

  • Enrollment: 1,126
  • 2013 finish: 8-4 — 4A Division II area finalist (4-1 in 14-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Texas High (101 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Greenville (32.7 miles)

 

Texas High Tigers

  • Enrollment: 1,982
  • 2013 finish: 9-2 — 4A Division I bi-district finalist (5-0 in 14-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Greenville (131 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Mount Pleasant (61.2 miles)

 

John Tyler’s Geovari McCollister slips away from Mansfield Legacy’s Peyton Fryer during their Class 4A Division I Region II bi-district playoff on Nov. 16, 2013, in Forney. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

District 16-5A

Corsicana Tigers

  • Enrollment: 1,603
  • 2013 finish: 2-7 (1-4 in 16-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Lufkin (134 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Ennis (22.9 miles)

 

Ennis Lions

  • Enrollment: 1,551
  • 2013 finish: 14-1 — 4A Division II state semifinalist (7-0 in 15-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Lufkin (151 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Corsicana (22.9 miles)

 

Jacksonville Indians

  • Enrollment: 1,225
  • 2013 finish: 0-10 (0-5 in 16-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Ennis (96.8 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Whitehouse (23.6 miles)

 

John Tyler Lions

  • Enrollment: 2,000.5
  • 2013 finish: 7-4 — 4A Division I bi-district finalist (4-1 in 16-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Ennis (91.1 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Lindale (13.1 miles)

 

Lindale Eagles

  • Enrollment: 1,122
  • 2013 finish: 3-8 — 4A Division II bi-district finalist (2-3 in 16-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Lufkin (104 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: John Tyler (13.1 miles)

 

Lufkin Panthers

  • Enrollment: 2,088
  • 2013 finish: 5-6 — 5A Division II bi-district finalist (4-2 in 14-5A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Ennis (151 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Nacogdoches (26.4 miles)

 

Nacogdoches Dragons

  • Enrollment: 1,712
  • 2013 finish: 7-4 — 4A Division I bi-district finalist (3-2 in 16-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Ennis (145 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: Lufkin (26.4 miles)

 

Whitehouse Wildcats

  • Enrollment: 1,402.5
  • 2013 finish: 12-1 — 4A Division II regional semifinalist (5-0 in 16-4A)
  • Furthest district opponent: Ennis (104 miles)
  • Closest district opponent: John Tyler (14.5 miles)

 

Whitehouse coach Adam Cook looks on during the Wildcats’ 55-54 home win over John Tyler on Nov. 8, 2013. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

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