UIL realignments announced for area

Eastside Districts thrown into a Fray with Realignment

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

Realignment always brings hope and change, but mostly results in heartache and heartburn for some schools. Eastside school districts Crosby, Huffman, Sterling, Lee, Barbers Hill, and Goose Creek Memorial will find some love, and some tough roads for the next two years.

The football gods at UIL realign and reclassify teams every two years based on their enrollments, in order to balance fair play between schools.

The new enrollment figures this next biennium include 6A numbers at 2,275 and above, 5A is 1,315-2,274, while 4A numbers are 545-1,314, 3A enrollments 254-544, 2A from 105-253, and 1A 104.9 and below. Some districts petition to be moved up, some move up or down because of increasing or decreasing enrollments. Others petition the changes based on driving distance or what might seem to make more sense for them. The appeals have been filed and UIL granted some and refused others.

Here’s how the chips fell for area schools:

Barbers Hill—5A Division 1, District 9

The Eagles 2023 campaign (9-3, 6-2) was a memorable one, but not always for the best reasons. Their only two regular season losses came against district champ La Porte (34-29) and an overtime loss to third place Porter (27-21). Losing by a combined six points was bittersweet for Barbers Hill sending them into the playoffs against McKinney North, which the Eagles conquered easily 43-21, and an early exit with a heartbreaking loss to Richland in the Area round, 48-47. The Eagles moved out of District 8 and over into District 9 with Angleton, Baytown Sterling, Beaumont United, Beaumont West Brook, Galveston Ball, and former District 8 foe Port Arthur Memorial. The Eagles should fly high in District 9 and a district title looks obtainable. A deeper run into the playoffs could be on the horizon.

Crosby—5A Division 1, District 11

After taking it on the chin most of 2023 with a 2-8 season record and 2- 6 in district, better times could be ahead for the Cougars. Crosby leaves behind a tough District 8 with La Porte, Barbers Hill, Porter, and Port Arthur Memorial for a friendlier schedule. The new district will have the Coogs, Fort Bend Kempner, Friendswood, Houston Spring Woods, Humble Kingwood Park, La Porte, New Caney Porter, and Pasadena. The Bulldogs and Kingwood Park will provide heat for the district title along with New Caney Porter and Friendswood. While a playoff spot isn’t ever a given, this district could be Crosby’s best bet to get back into the groove.

Goose Creek Memorial— 6A, District 23

The Patriots make the leap up from 5A Division 1 into the big time with the likes of North Shore, Atascocita, Summer Creek, and C. E. King, all of which are perennial powerhouses with playoff history. The district is called the ‘Little SEC’ for a reason. The supremacy of 23-6A has come in the form of 5 state title appearances by North Shore in the last six years, and three titles in that time; 1 state title appearance by West Brook; 1 state title appearance by Summer Creek; dozens of bi-district, area, regional semi’s, and regional final appearances (three between North Shore and Atascocita) and semi-final appearances all along vanquishing Houston area opponents. The Beaumont schools are gone and GCM and Channelview have replaced them. The Falcons have finished either first or second in the district for the last two years and will also be looking to make their stake in the new district. There’s also Humble and Kingwood to round out the district. There’s no chance this district will lose a step.

Huffman Hargrave— 4A Division 1, District 10

Hargrave isn’t going anywhere, but there will be more competition in the next two years. The only team to exit the district is Splendora who moved up into 5A Division 2, District 8. Bridge City, Hardin-Jefferson and Liberty move into the district from 4A Division 2, District 9. The Falcons will still play Livingston, Lumberton, Orange Little Cypress-Mauriceville, and Vidor.

Lee 5A Division 2, District 9

The Ganders will be all over the place. With declining enrollment, they will move out of 5A Division 1 to Division 2 and the travel will mean crisscrossing across Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Brazoria counties. They will also face state power Fort Bend Marshall. The new district includes Alvin Iowa Colony, Lee, Fort Bend Marshall, Richmond Randle, Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated, Rosenberg Terry, Santa Fe, and Texas City.

Sterling, 5A Division 1, District 9

The Rangers will remain in 5A Division 1 and move from District 8 to District 9. They will join the Beaumont schools United and West Brook. They will also face Angleton, last year’s district champion Galveston Ball, and state playoff teams Barbers Hill and Port Arthur Memorial. The district chase should be between Ball, Barbers Hill, and Port Arthur Memorial, but stranger things have happened.

Football schedules are still being finalized.

Comprehensive details, including district alignments for football, basketball, and volleyball, as well as conference and division cutoffs, and realignment maps, can now be accessed on the UIL website at http://www.uiltexas.org/alignments.

Alignments for other UIL sports and academic contests will be released later.

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