By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The much-anticipated Texas UIL realignment listings were posted on Monday morning.
And while the body of the current District 12-6A (Belton, Copperas Cove, Ellison, Harker Heights, Hewitt Midway, Killeen and Shoemaker) will continue together in 2016-2018, they will shift umbrellas to District 8-6A. The move shifts the current seven from Region II to Region I. This move constitutes Belton’s fourth consecutive region change in as many realignments.
All seven schools went up in enrollment numbers. Belton’s enrollment numbers jumped from 2,916 in the 2014 reporting to 3,197 in their 2016 reporting (increase of 281). Midway went from 2,228.5 to 2,410.5 (increase of 182), Shoemaker went from 2,266 to 2,557 (increase of 291), Ellison went from 2,649.5 to 2,842 (increase of 192.5), Killeen went from 2,309.5 to 2,485 (increase of 175.5) and Harker Heights went from 2,342.5 to 2,434.5 (increase of 92).
The move puts the seven schools in a bi-district pairing in the new District 7-6A, which is a redux from District 7-5A from 2012-2014. The schools that are in the new District 7-6A are Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, Irving, Irving MacArthur, Irving Nimitz and South Grand Prairie.
One wrinkle in the new District 8-6A is in basketball only. San Angelo Central (reporting enrollment of 2,862.5, up from 2014 report of 2,750), who is in District 2-6A in 2016 for football (Amarillo Tascosa, Midland, Midland Lee, Odessa, Odessa Permian, Wolfforth Frenship), will join District 8-6A for hoops season.
The road is no stranger to Central, as the mileage is a little better with some opponents in District 2-6A than in District 8-6A. Midland is 112 miles from Central, Midland Lee is 117 miles, Odessa Permian is 131, Odessa is 133 miles, Wolfforth Frenship is 197 miles and Tascosa is 311 miles. In District 8-6A, Cove is the closest at 175 miles, followed up by Shoemaker with 182, Ellison with 186, Killeen with 187, Harker Heights at 190, Belton at 203 and Midway at 212.
In the 2014-15 and 2015-16 classification ranges, 6A was 2,100 enrolled and up, 5A was 1060-2099, was 4A 465-1059, 3A was 220-464, 2A was 105-219 and 1A was 104 and below
In the 2016-17 and 2017-18, 6A was 2150 and above, 5A was 1100-2149, 4A was 480-1099, 3A was 221-479, 2A was 105-220 and 1A was 104 and below.
With the realignment, 6A now has 247 schools, 5A has 253 schools, 4A has 191 schools, 3A has 221 schools, 2A has 203 schools and 1A has 202 basketball schools, 139 Six-Man football schools and 15 1A schools that play 11-Man football.
Temple (reporting enrollment of 2,071.5) was realigned to District 18-5A, playing in a seven-team district with Bryan, Bryan Rudder, College Station, College Station A&M Consolidated, Waco and Waco University. Their District 17-5A bi-district pairings are Corsicana, Ennis, Jacksonville, Lindale, Nacogdoches and Whitehouse.
The Tigers and Wildcats will open the 2016 football season in a non-district tilt, marking the first time since 1934 that the two have not played each other in a district game. The finalized football schedule is due out this week.