Mineola’s been down this road before. Before dropping to Class 2A prior to the 2010 season, the Yellowjackets were fixtures in 3A.

They’re back. And that’s just fine with Mineola head coach Joe Drennon.

“Any time you’ve been successful before, the hope is that it will carry over to 3A,” he said. “Winning is all about competing and hopefully our kids will compete at this level. I think it helps being a 3A before.”

Mineola was 17-6 the previous two years playing in 2A, but only 8-14 its final two years in 3A.

“We kept a lot of 3A teams on our non-conference schedule for a reason the last couple of years,” Drennon said. “I think our kids are looking forward to the new challenge. Every year brings new challenges.”

Drennon said there’s not much difference in the quality of players in 2A and 3A, but the thing that sets the two classifications apart the most is the quantity.

“The biggest difference is when you have 450 kids and you’re playing schools with 950 kids,” said Drennon, who turned in an enrollment of 453. “It shows up in special teams a little bit and with the two-way starters. Our kids are going to need to get in a little bit better shape, but I know they’re up to the challenge.”

Mineola’s new district, 15-3A, consists of Athens, Brownsboro, Canton, Mabank and Van. Athens is the biggest school in the league, with an enrollment of 917.

“I think it’s going to be very competitive with no clear-cut favorite overall,” Drennon said of the new district. “I do like all the ADs and superintendents I’ve met; they all seem very professional.”