Is Kilgore still in the “District of Doom?” Depends on your point of view, although a lot of the district did remain intact, Carthage is no longer a member.
The University Interscholastic League announced its realignment on Monday morning, assigning its 1,400 Texas high schools to their various districts for the next two school years (2020-21, and 2021-22) based on enrollment.
As predicted in December, with the release of cutoff numbers, Kilgore remained in UIL Class 4A, Division I – the bigger of the two 4A classes – and did remained paired with archrival Henderson for football (the baseball-basketball-softball-volleyball district is normally a bit different; here's the new district alignment for sports besides football and soccer: https://www.kilgorenewsherald.com/sports/high-school-sports-uil-realignment-khs-other-area-schools-pick/article_8859ff44-46a2-11ea-9450-a73fab37661d.html)
Kilgore is in 4A-DI, District 9, along with Henderson, Palestine and Chapel Hill – those four remained together from the last time out – along with newcomers Athens, Lindale, and Mabank, a seven-team district. That means coaches in that district, including Kilgore’s Mike Wood, will need to find three non-district opponents to fill out their 2020 football schedules.
The UIL announced its cutoff numbers for the classifications back in early December, so it was known then that Van and Carthage – a seven-time state champion in football this century and long a Kilgore rival – would drop down from the old district with Kilgore and Henderson to the smaller 4A, Division II.
Van will compete next season in 4A-DII, District 7, with Brownsboro, Bullard, Canton and Mexia. Carthage will be in District 10-4A-DII alongside Center, Jasper, Madisonville, Rusk and Shepherd.
There wasn’t a lot of changes for schools in the Kilgore News Herald’s coverage area. Sabine remained in Class 3A, Division I, but West Rusk drops down to 3A, DII. Overton remained in Class 2A, Division II. Leverett’s Chapel, the only six-man football program in the News Herald’s coverage area,
Sabine, who just had a 10-2 season and won its first-ever playoff game (over Mount Vernon), will compete in District 6-3A, DI this fall, along with old rival Gladewater, Atlanta, Jefferson, New Boston, Tatum and White Oak.
West Rusk’s Raiders will be back with a few old rivals themselves in District 9-3A, DII with Arp and Troup, as well as Harmony, Grand Saline, Quitman and Winona.
Overton’s Mustangs will be in 2A-DII’s District 11. With them there are Tenaha, West Sabine, Mount Enterprise, Lovelady, Cushing and Colmesneil.
LC, one of 153 schools in the state with six-man programs, will play in 1A-Division I, District 10, alongside Union Hill and Fruitvale, as well as newcomers Campbell and Savoy. Out is High Island, a southeast Texas team that is about 4 ½ hours of travel, one way.
In other news of interest from the UIL’s announcement involving East Texas programs, District 8-4A, DII will have a big-time local flavor with 4A power Gilmer, Spring Hill, Pittsburg, new power Pleasant Grove and Liberty-Eylau joined by Paris-area North Lamar.
The Longview-area 5A schools will continue to stay together in District 9-5A, DII: Hallsville, Pine Tree, and Marshall, along with Jacksonville, Mount Pleasant, Texas High, Whitehouse and Nacogdoches, a district that covers a lot of East Texas area. Texas High dropped down from 5A-DI to the smaller 5A-DII.
Longview, of course, moved back to 5A, Division I, rather than 6A. The Lobos, a season removed from a state championship, are in 5A-DI, District 7 with, of all schools, Highland Park – the Scots are a Dallas-area power in several sports, not just football.
Also in the district with the Lobos and HP are John Tyler, McKinney North, Sherman, West Mesquite, Wylie East and New Caney.
Controversy will likely be caused by Lufkin – a 5A, DI school not as far from Longview, and a Lobos rival – being placed in District 8, a different district than Longview, along with College Station, Cleveland, Caney Creek, Magnolia, Magnolia West, New Caney Porter and Waller.
Tyler Lee is still Class 6A, and remained in a district – District 10-6A – with the Mesquite schools (Mesquite, Mesquite Horn, and North Mesquite), as well as Dallas Skyline, Rockwall and Rockwall Heath. So there’s travel in store for the Rebels, as they undertake yet another new coaching staff direction.