Perhaps the least surprising development during the UIL’s biennial realignment and reclassification was the Lindale Eagles moving from Class 3A to 4A.

Since 1990, Lindale has switched classifications eight times between 3A and 4A.

“I was not as surprised to go 4A as I was two years ago to drop to 3A,” Eagles coach Mike Meador said. “We've been 4A before so it's not a total shock.”

Lindale enjoyed an 18-6 run that included two district titles in its latest stint 3A. Since 1986, the Eagles have won at a .621 clip as a member of 3A, but are just .500 when they step up a classification.

However, between 2006 and 2009 Lindale went 26-16 in 4A, sharing a district title in ‘09.

“I do feel that it helps that we've been 4A before and have had success,” Meador said. “I'm excited about the challenge we have before us and I know our kids will step up and play.”

Meador, who was hired before Lindale moved up to 4A in 2006, said the challenge in 4A will be qualifying for the playoffs.

“I think the biggest difference in 3A and 4A is district play in 3A is often not as tough week-in and week-out,” he said. “In East Texas, 3A football is extremely difficult in the playoffs.”

Lindale’s new district, 16-4A, features state title contender John Tyler, Corsicana, Jacksonville, Whitehouse and Nacogdoches.

“It is very tough with schools with great traditions, great athletes, and great coaches,” Meador said. “It will be a huge challenge every week.”