UIL realignment could mean shakeups for school sports teams, mor - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

UIL realignment could mean shakeups for school sports teams, more

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For the first time in Texas high school history, there is a class 6A for athletics and extracurricular activities.

While most schools in the state won't be affected, some will jump based on a handful of students, affecting enrollment numbers.

Highland Park High School could see a big change in its opponents next season. The school has 2,106 students, which is just six above the new class 6A cutoff.

That means Highland Park will be one of the smallest, if not the smallest, high school in the state competing against some of the biggest.

"We felt like there could be a chance we go up," said Johnny Ringo, the school's athletic director.

Highland Park has been on the conference cusp for a few years.

The 12-and-1 Scots are preparing for their playoff game Friday against Wylie.

Since the late 80s, Highland Park has been 4A-playing Mesquite, Forney, Terrell and other similarly-populous schools.

Now, they could face athletic powerhouses with huge student bodies like Allen, Plano, McKinney and others.

"There's something to be said for getting to compete at the highest level and what that brings out in communities and schools, and I think it'll do nothing but bring out the best in us," said Ringo.

While sports get most of the conference attention, the UIL decision also affects music and academic competitions.

Here are the new cutoff numbers:

  • 6A will be schools with 2,100 students or more
  • 5A: 1,060 to 2,099
  • 4A: 465-1,059
  • 3A: 220-464
  • 2A: 105-219
  • 1A: 104.9 and below

Grapevine High School is one of the few dropping classes after enrollment dipped.

"We felt like it was coming," said Dave Henigan, head football coach at Grapevine.

The 1-and-9 Mustangs look forward to playing schools closer in size and geography next season.

"When you're at the top end of enrollment, as opposed to the bottom end, that it's hopefully going to be advantageous for your kids," said Henigan.

Henigan says bigger schools may have more players to pick from when injuries occur, but he thinks this shakeup will give his players a competitive edge.

"It'll be a positive reception, but also with the understanding that the competition is still going to be fierce," he said.

The new conference changes won't affect tennis, soccer, swimming and wrestling because the UIL classifies them differently.

Schools will find out their new districts in February, and the new schedules will be set for next football season through 2016.

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