For the average Texan Monday, February 3, is just another day in the office, but to hundreds of Athletic Directors and coaches, Monday is the day they will find out what district they will be in for the next two years and what area schools will be joining them.
Each Texas school submitted their enrollment numbers to the state back in October on what is known as Snapshot Day. In December, the UIL office released cutoff numbers which separates each classification from 1A up to 6A. Since that time UIL officials have been busy setting up districts throughout the state based on those enrollment numbers.
Even though schools do not know exactly what district they will be put in, at least they will know what conference they will be in for the next two years.
On “picture day” Denver City turned in 504 for their enrollment number, which was an increase from two years ago, but still within 3A numbers. Two years ago, that number was 487 and four years ago that number was 517, a number which moved Denver City into the a small 4A school for two years.
The new numbers look like this: 6A 2220 and above, 5A 1230-2219, 4A 515-1229, 3A 230-514, 2A 105-229 and 1A 104.9 and below.
The UIL also subdivides football into Division I and Division II schools. These numbers are: 1A Division I 59.5-104.9; 1A Division II 59.4 and below; 2A Division I 165.5-229; 2A Division II 105-165.4; 3A Division I 350-514; 3A Division II 230-349; 4A Division I 880-1229; 4A Division II 515-879; 5A Division I 1922-2219; 5A Division II 1230-1921.
6A Divisions are determined at the end of the football season. The top two schools in enrollment will go to Division I regardless of where they finish in district and two next two schools will be in Division II.
With the new numbers there will be 235 3A schools. All 3A schools will field a basketball team, 211 play football and 222 will have a volleyball team.
Each head coach had their different viewpoints on how things will come out when the packets are passed out on Monday.
“The Padilla poll is predicting our District to be, DC, Slaton, Shallowater, Brownfield, Kermit and Lamesa,” head football coach Daniel Fontenot said. “Personally, I think this will be true, or we will not have Shallowater who might go north. Either our District, or the North District will have 6 teams and the other will have 5.”
Athletic Director and head Fillie basketball coach Chief Bridgforth has similar views.
“I have heard several rumors and I truly don’t know what to expect,” Chief said. “For girls’ basketball we could stay the same or I heard possibly it would be us, Brownfield, Lamesa, Slaton, Kermit. I’m pretty sure that football, volleyball, and basketball will be different districts. Who knows what will happen Monday morning?”
Head Mustang basketball coach Abraham Garcia is still scratching his head trying to figure all of this out.
“I am usually not good at predicting what the UIL will do but here is a couple of scenarios that I think could happen,” Coach Garcia said. “I think one scenario could be DC, Brownfield, Lamesa, Kermit, and Coahoma. Or it could be DC, Brownfield, Lamesa, Roosevelt, Slaton, and Idalou. Whatever happens I’m sure it will be a big surprise to everyone.”
The ultimate goal of the UIL is to have at least 225 schools per division in both football and basketball. Obviously, they weren’t even close to achieving that goal. There are just 205 schools in 4A and 201 in 2A. They pretty much achieve that goal in all of the classifications except 4A, 3A and 2A although they were close to the 200’s in 2A.
So, to all you head coaches and athletic directors, sit back try to enjoy your weekend, and get ready for many surprises come 9 a.m. on Monday morning.