The speculation is almost over.
The University Interscholastic League will release its biennial realignment at 9 a.m. Thursday, and high school coaches and fans will finally know the fate of their teams’ districts for the next two years.
Since the conference cutoff numbers were released in early December, prognosticators and coaches alike have been attempting to forecast what many would agree is as unpredictable as Texas weather. A common theme among those I have talked with is that with every UIL realignment, “you just never know” what the arrangements will be.
Situations that seem to be no-brainers to some aren’t always the way things turn out. That’s what makes predicting realignment so difficult.
This year, however, might be different.
For the first time, the UIL is using software to aid in the task of situating the state’s thousands of schools. The old method—or so I’m told—involved push pins, rubber bands and a giant map. (No, really.) How it took until 2018 to get software involved is beyond me, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Perhaps the more technological approach will quell the issues some have had in the past.
Or maybe not.
With all that said, here is what local schools could be seeing Thursday when football and basketball districts are revealed.
That is, if the amount of traffic doesn’t crash the UIL website.
Pleasanton’s future district prospects took an unexpected, late twist a couple of weeks ago. Somerset, which currently shares a district with the Eagles in all sports, will move up to Class 5A after a UIL ruling determined their student population was miscalculated.
Reports said an alternative campus in Somerset ISD was not properly factored into the number originally submitted that again had the Bulldogs pegged in 4A Division I.
So what seemed to be the easiest district opponent to predict for Pleasanton is now out the window. That makes for a fun challenge, and I’m sure the UIL feels the same way about the late curveball.
As far as football is concerned, Somerset is now the third school from the Eagles’ current district that will no longer be in 4A DI. Robstown and Rockport-Fulton went the other direction and will reclassify to 4A DII.
That leaves Beeville and La Vernia, but there is no guarantee those schools will still be with Pleasanton. Depending on how the UIL draws it up, the Eagles could play teams north of town or be sent more toward the Coastal Bend.
That could be anywhere from Fredericksburg to Kingsville. Candidates in 4A DI also include Boerne, Gonzales and Canyon Lake, which ousted Pleasanton in the second round of playoffs last season.
But the questions marks in Atascosa County don’t end there.
Jourdanton’s future also has speculation going in a number of different directions. Lytle is a new possibility after dropping from 4A DII, and Karnes City—a current district opponent in sports other than football—could be in the mix as well after moving up to 3A DI for football.
But some projections have the Indians traveling all the way to Lago Vista, so we’ll see.
For basketball, Jourdanton will lose San Antonio Brooks and Fox Tech to 4A and 5A, respectively.
Poteet is losing a football opponent in Lytle, but other changes are up in the air. Cuero, also in 4A DII, is a district opponent in all other sports.
Charlotte’s only likely changes are in basketball, where San Antonio Gervin will move to 3A.
I’m sure realignment will rub some schools the wrong way, but as someone just waiting to see how it plays out, I’ve got my popcorn ready. There’s no day quite like realignment day.