Realignment shuffles Northeast Texas districts

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By Whitt Sparks
Tribune Sports

Every two years, on February 1st, high school football fans from across the state of Texas hold their breath to see what district their teams will be in.  For some parts of Texas, like the panhandle or west Texas I’m sure there isn’t much change to the districts year in, year out, but here in Northeast Texas the changes made by UIL can cause a lot of excitement.  This year did not disappoint, so let’s talk about what we know.

We knew that Hooks was going up in classification and that Atlanta, Liberty Eylau, and James Bowie were going down.  So how was that going to affect everyone else?  Well, let’s break down the area districts.

Starting with the smallest and going up let’s talk about 2A Division 2 District 10.  With the Pirates moving down to the smallest classification in Texas that plays 11-man football, it creates a district where Simms will now play Clarksville, Detroit, Mount Enterprise, Overton, and rival Maud.  This was the most predictable district, and honestly will be a fun one to watch.  All of the schools are relatively close to each other geographically and talent wise.  Clarksville had a difficult year last year, but in the previous two years before that, they went a few rounds into the playoffs.  Maud is always a playoff team, and with Simms moving down I hope they will make a strong presence in this new classification.  With all that said, It’s still Maud’s district.

Moving up, the next district classification in our area is 3A Division 2 District 11.  This is a large, eight team district comprised of DeKalb, Paul Pewitt, Queen City, Ore City, New Diana, Daingerfield, Waskom, and Elysian Fields.  This is a district I’m not sure anyone expected.  Many thought that DeKalb would move west to join a district with Paris Chisum and Cooper, but now DeKalb is in the far north and Elysian Fields is south of I-20.  From a distance stand point you can imagine that no one is excited about this district as we see the drive times really grow.  It’s a two hour drive from Elysian Fields to DeKalb.  In fact, with DeKalb being the only team north of I-30 it’s going to make for some long Thursday night drives after junior high and JV games.  

In this district you have some pretty notable schools as well.  Waskom has won two state championships in the last few years, but has cooled off a little, and then you have Daingerfield, Elysian Fields and Paul Pewitt.  I think all of these teams have not lived up to their reputations in previous years, but everyone knows that the expectations in those programs is at such a high level that it should make this district one of the toughest.  So, who’s district is it?  Hard to say, I think it’s Daingerfield’s until someone knocks them off.

Moving up we have 3A Division 1 District 7.  Hooks moves into this district as does Atlanta.  Joining them are Redwater, New Boston, Mount Vernon, Hughes Springs, and Jefferson.  Just looking at this district on paper it’s very impressive.  With only four of these teams making the playoffs, I can tell you there will be some very good teams in this district that probably won’t make the playoffs.  These teams will be competitive and will display some amazing offense.  Hooks is moving into this district, I assume, as one of the smaller teams in this classification.  Putting them up against the likes of Atlanta, Jefferson, Hughes Springs, and Mount Vernon, it will be an uphill climb.  New Boston is still trying to find their identity as they search for a new coach, but I can tell you there is talent in New Boston.  They will play hard and compete with the right coaches there to motivate them.  Whose district is it?  Atlanta, no doubt.

I want to quickly round out Bowie County by mentioning the Texarkana schools.  Liberty Eylau moved down this year into a small five team district in 4A Division 2 District 6.  Listen to the schools who are in this district:  Liberty-Eylau, Pleasant Grove, Pittsburg, Gilmer, and Longview Springhill.  WOW, WHAT A DISTRICT!  These teams will collide all through the fall, and I guarantee you every game will be epic.  Whose district is it?  I have no idea.

Texas High has been affected the most in this redistricting.  Not that they have moved up, but rather, almost everyone else in their district moved down.  They are in 5A Division 1 District 7.  Listen to this district:  Texas High, McKinney North, Mesquite Poteet, Sherman, Tyler, West Mesquite, John Tyler, and Wylie East.  Think about the drives on Thursday nights for these games.  Several former state champions in this group, and I honestly don’t know where things will fall.  So, good luck Texas High in this new district.

One thing is for sure, looking in this fall there will be a lot of new teams on our fields and new faces on our teams.  For some, these new districts are favorable, for others, the path to the playoffs just got a lot harder.  Either way, this fall is going to awesome.

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