Realignment this year will be a watershed event. It will spur the talk of a 6A and it will leave many scratching their head. Although the biggest changes won't be in 5A - it is still worth looking at the issues that came about with the West Texas/El Paso realignment.
The El Paso area is pretty secure. With nine teams - 1-5A can pretty much be secure that they will stay the same.
For West Texas - the big problem will come with the drop of Abilene Cooper. If the districts stay the same, then we would have a 6 and a 5 team district for football, and then swapping to 5-6 for everything else. Considering the growth of other areas, having two districts for 11 teams seems a little absurd. On the other hand, Abilene is actually closer to the western part of the Metroplex (about 120 miles) than it is to San Angelo, Midland and Odessa. Therefore I believe this is the year that the big change occurs. I thought it last time as well - but what can ya do?
Two different scenarios can take place here.
Either the UIL can ship San Angelo Central to a Centex region (and/or Abilene) and make a 9 team district, or they can keep San Angelo Central as part of the district and have a 10 team district.
For SA Central's sake, I feel that this is the best thing to do. In some karmatic way, I do believe that this is also fair because in general, most West Texas districts have been benefiting from 67-80% of the teams making the playoffs - however, most other districts have 50% or less making the playoffs. Therefore, I do feel this district is fair.
In other sports, they can zone and have 2 5 team districts and play 4A teams (north zone/south zone) that are close to them to cut down on mileage. In football, a lot of these teams schedule each other in non-district anyway - so I feel a ten team district would be appropriate.
Moving to the Metroplex - we have several issues to address.
First of all, with our current enrollments, South Garland and Lakeview Centennial will both be 4A teams. For most of our statewide projections, we have projected these two teams as "opting up" in enrollment. Legally, they are NOT allowed to do so. Several administrators and coaches have told me they can "all but guarantee" they will be allowed to do this. Therefore, I am going to assume that they will be able to do this.
The second major issue is that DISD for the first time will not be its own district. Several coaches have said that split DISD/other ISD districts are a strange hassle. DISD does not have the subvarsity base that many of the suburban schools. When it comes to winter/country club sports - a lot of the DISD teams do not play these sports - which makes scheduling a nightmare. Also, DISD athletics plays a lot of Thursday night/Saturday games - therefore multiple ISD scheduling can be a bit of a pain, to say the least.
Therefore, it would take a special ISD to be "placed" with the DISD - generally for something like this - the administrators of an ISD (AD perhaps?) would be notified and asked their opinion. According to those on coaching websites, the Richardson ISD has been contacted and have been very open to the idea of playing with DISD. Lately, a push of people saying Irving ISD would be a good fit have surfaced as well.
Two other notes - lately, the UIL has been responsive about complaints. 2 years ago, they removed Rockwall from the East Texas district after they complained. This year's major DFW complainants were Richardson ISD and Wylie being placed with PISD schools. Therefore, it is very possible we could see a change.
I have created four mock alignments. The first one is the way I think geographically makes the most sense. This includes an Irving ISD + Dallas ISD pairing.
The second mock alignment contains what would need to be done to merge Richardson and Dallas ISD - and the chips that would need to fall for that to occur.
The third mock alignment assumes that Lakeview Centennial would not be able to opt up. The next two teams that would make the playoffs of Garland ISD were not allowed to opt up were Grapevine and South Garland. So these realignments assume that Lakeview Centennial would be 4A. It also assumes Dallas ISD and Richardson ISD.
Finally, the fourth mock alignment assumes all the third realignment does - however, it replaces the need for Richardson and Dallas to be together.
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DFW Teams Dropping
Mansfield Legacy (played 5A in all sports but football)
DFW Teams Opting-Up One Classification (Assuming the UIL will allow it)
DFW Teams Jumping from 4A to 5A
Keller Fossil Ridge
Projected DFW Metroplex 5A Teams (We classify teams from out of area as DFW for regional coverage purposes>
Keller Fossil Ridge
S. Grand Prairie
Arlington Sam Houston
Dallas WT White