The Tascosa Rebels will drop into Class 5A, and will join Amarillo High, Caprock and Palo Duro in a district that will be announced during Monday’s UIL realignment. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
Monday’s University Interscholastic League biannual realignment release will impact Amarillo in a way not seen in 30 years.
With Tascosa turning in 2,186 students on snapshot day last fall, this meant the Rebs athletic programs would move from Class 6A to Class 5A with the 6A cutoff at 2,220.
So for the first time in three decades all four Amarillo ISD schools – Amarillo High, Caprock, Palo Duro and Tascosa – will participate in the same district when the 2020 schoolyear starts in August.
While initially this brought good travel news to fans of the Rebs who have recently made regular trips to Odessa and Midland for district games, the new football district appeared to be a nightmare with only the four AISD schools.
Who wants a four-team district? Sure all four teams are guaranteed in the playoffs but scheduling seven non-district games for the Amarillo coaches would be an absolute pain in the rear.
Until three weeks ago AISD looked headed for a four-team district. That’s when El Paso Chapin announced it was opting up from Division II to Division I.
I’d be shocked – and bummed – if the four AISD head football coaches don’t add Chapin to their Christmas card list in 2020.
With Chapin moving up this meant El Paso now had four Class 5A-DI schools instead of three (Chapin, Bel Air, El Dorado and Del Valle).
What the UIL will now do is make District 1-5A Division I the four El Paso schools, instead of having make 1-5A an El Paso/Lubbock district.
District 2-5A Division I will have a much better now with Amarillo High, Caprock, Palo Duro, Tascosa, Lubbock High, Lubbock Monterey and Lubbock Coronado.
The wild card here is what will the UIL do with Abilene Cooper?
Cooper was in 2-5A the past two years but all indications are Cooper officials asked the UIL to move them to a district east toward the metroplex. However, I think Cooper will stay in 2-5A meaning an eight-team district and simply three non-district games for coaches to secure.
I know, crazy stuff.
But with a state the size of Texas, the UIL has an impossible situation to please everybody. And, as we learned with Chapin’s move, things are always changing.
Now the buzz around District 3-5A Division II is like a smooth lake on a sunny day compared the 2-5A DI.
While most states – and the school districts located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth Houston, San Antonio – would flip out if their high schools was placed in this type of district, these seven schools are used to the travel. I see no change in 3-5A DII football with Randall, Abilene Wylie, Lubbock Cooper, Plainview, Wichita Falls and Wichita Falls Rider back together again.
Tascosa’s move impacted 2-6A and the non-football districts like volleyball, basketball, baseball, etc.
With Tascosa changes addresses and moving out of 2-6A, San Angelo Central is expected to slip in that slot meaning 2-6A will have Central, Frenship, Odessa High and Permian, along with Midland High and Lee.
In the non-football districts look for two six-team districts side by side in 2-5A and 3-5A. The 2-5A should be an Abilene/Lubbock district, while 3-5A will be a travel friendly district of the four AISD schools, Randall and Plainview.
And don’t forget to put on your radar in two years Canyon ISD will be opening a third school. Meaning the Class 5A landscape around here will change.
The best news is we will all know everything exactly at 9 a.m. Monday when the UIL officially releases the 2020-21 & 2021-2022 district assignments.
UIL 2020-21 & 2021-22 Conference cutoff numbers
2220 and above (246 schools)
Class 5A Division I
1922-2219 (129 schools)
Class 5A Division II
1230-1921 (122 schools)
Lance Lahnert’s district predictions
San Angelo Central
Wichita Falls Rider