Part two of the every two year UIL realignment puzzle was made public on Tuesday, December 3, when the cutoff numbers for each classification.
The University Interscholastic League released its conference cutoff numbers for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 reclassification and realignment on Tuesday morning. Part two of the UIL puzzle has now been determined with just one more step for the future.
For some of the school districts it has been a given on what classification they would be based on prior years numbers that usually don’t fluctuate that much. For other bubble schools it’s now official what classification they will fall in based on the number of students submitted on “snap-shot” day the end of October.
The third part of the puzzle will be released on February 3 when the UIL will release the new district alignments based on geographical locations.
It’s almost certain that the Mustang football team will not be in a four team district next year. Even though Tornillo will once again be a 3A school their enrollment numbers have dropped and with that they will be a Division II school in football only.
The plot gets even thicker with Lamesa dropping to 3A after being a 4A school for the last several years. They will be a Division I football team and likely could be placed in the same district with Denver City.
Another twist is Slaton, who is also a 3A school, will move from a Division II football school to a Division I.
If you want to see a map of all the 3A teams in the state drop by Superintendent Gary Davis’ office. He has pinned each district and has added his prediction for the next two years.
“I’m thinking Bushland, Dalhart, River Road, Muleshoe, and Littlefield will all end up in the same district. Shallowater is kind of like a bubble team, they could also be included in that district,” Davis said.
He went on to say the other 3A district in this area could be Brownfield, DC, Slaton, Kermit, and Lamesa and possibly Shallowater. “But this is the UIL, who knows what they are thinking.”
One thing for sure is we will not be making an every other year trip to the El Paso area.
Athletic Director Chief Bridgforth also voiced his opinion for the new numbers. “We figured the (top) number would go up slightly from last time and with our current enrollment staying about where it was two years ago I’m not at all surprised that we stayed 3A,” Bridgforth noted. “Now we just need to wait and see how our district will line up. With Lamesa dropping down to 3A that could change things up. You just never know what the UIL will do.”
That’s the understatement. Just when everyone thinks they have it all figured out the UIL usually throws a monkey wrench into all of it.
Head football coach Daniel Fontenot had similar thoughts. “There is no doubt our district will change up with Tornillo dropping to 3A DII in football,” Fontenot said. “Dalhart is also dropping to 3A, but the move of Slaton from Division II in football to Division I could have the biggest effect on these districts. I can see us adding Slaton and a possibility of Shallowater ending up in our district. They are one of those teams that can go either direction. I’m pretty sure they will be in our basketball and spring sports district.”
So Part 3 of the puzzle will happen in about two months when all questions and concerns will be answered at 9am on Monday, February 3 when the UIL releases new district alignments for the next two years. Don’t place your bets on what will happen ….. you will probably lose your money.