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Texas realignment: Why the fuss?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by pressboxer, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    We're just a few hours away from the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for extracurricular activities for Texas public schools, announcing its new alignment for the upcoming two school years.

    The process is nothing dramatic -- some 1,300 high schools report what their enrollment is in October of odd-numbered years and the UIL announces assignments for classification (based on enrollment) and districts (based on geography, sort of) the following February -- but the whole deal is made out to be something just shy of Armageddon. It's often referred to as "the best-kept secret in the world" and there's all kinds of wild speculation about which schools will be grouped together.

    The biggest things to come out of this are that football teams can begin making out their schedules for the next two seasons and districts can start setting up how they'll conduct business (choosing host schools for various district meets and so forth).

    I realize there is a certain amount of newsworthiness to the announcement, but it seems like every year it gets blown out a little bit more. Fox Sports Net Southwest will do a live broadcast covering the announcement and it will be front-page news in many papers around the state -- not sports front, but 1A.

    My paper will have at least three people covering it locally and Texas AP will produce a sizeable amount of copy.

    I've been doing this nearly 20 years and have always wondered why so much effort goes into to covering this. I admit it calls for more than a brief, but the sheer amount of copy this weekend will rival Super Bowl hype.

    The big question in West Texas, where I work, is whether the district known as the Little Southwest Conference, which includes Midland Lee and Odessa Permian, will finally be broken up. Schools from Abilene, Midland and Odessa have been grouped together since Kennedy was in the White House, so I understand the interest if things change there.

    I'm curious how much attention is paid to such developments in other states. If this was done less frequently, I could understand the level of interest, but this happens every other year here.
  2. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    Last year or the year before, my home state added more classes. A lot of attention was paid, because it was focused on the Public v. Private debate, since the last 15 state titles had been split between two private schools and one dominant public school. Those three ultimately remained in the same class, but a lot of schools were re-classified.

    But two or three years before that, several schools were re-classified, and nothing was mentioned of it until a few of those schools made their respective state championships. In basketball and baseball, the districts were realigned in one region, and nothing was made of it until the district tournaments.

    The Public v. Private debate received a ton of front-page coverage, mostly because it was a lot of mudslinging between several athletic directors and football coaches -- guys who were prominent in the community. It was also featured on editorial pages, etc, from what I can remember (while I was still there).
  3. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    My area allows public and private schools to play together. But recently, in some sports, a lot of public school coaches did some campaigning (read: the terrible ones) to get the private schools out of their classification. Pretty much, it involved adding students to schools that don't really have them, which caused all kinds of nasty implications elsewhere.
  4. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    In Connecticut, its strictly geographic. its up to the leagues to split up into smaller divisions for different schools (some do, some don't).

    A guy I know from Texas hated the set up because that is how you get 3-hour bus rides for a Friday night game.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    isn't texas in mexico?
  6. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Well, a couple schools we cover will have 250 miles to travel for district games. One West Texas district I saw includes Fort Stockton with El Paso schools, that is a whopping 240-mile drive (one way) for district games.

    And pressboxer, how are you enjoying the breakup of that district? San Angelo now has to play teams in Amarillo in district, which is a paltry 311-mile drive (one way).
  7. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    San Angelo was already in a district with Amarillo, at last for football.

    Hereford got screwed in this realignment. The school got moved from a district with the other Panhandle/Amarillo schools to a district with Lubbock and West Central Texas schools. The Herd has a 300-mile one way trip to San Angelo (the other San Angelo high school).
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I know Central was with the Amarillo schools, but I was just trying to give some examples for how far some Texas teams have to travel.
    I saw Hereford got hosed, they have a long ways to travel as well.
    In a way Snyder got hosed the worst, getting put in a district with Abilene Wylie (state powerhouse), Brownwood (traditional power dropping from 4A), Graham (solid team with Colt McCoy's little brother at QB the next 2 years) and Sweetwater (pretty solid 3A team). Breckenridge won't win a district game and two teams will be left out of the playoffs that would win a lot of 3A districts in the state.
  9. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    True about Snyder. I'm surprised the UIL moved Graham into that district, honestly. Isn't it more a Wichita Falls-area school, or is it more between there and Abilene?
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I would say that if these guys just keep clears eyes and full hearts, then they can't lose.
  11. This is a window into a world I never knew existed.
    More please.
    And FYI -- 311 miles from my high school puts me in Canada.
  12. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Highland Park stays 4A and Abilene Wylie stays 3A.

    Some things never change. :)

    I just got done with a breakout page and putting five realignment pages on the web.

    I can taste the Leinie's already.
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