Let the speculation begin: UIL realignment looms large

The Rockdale Tigers will find out who their new friends are Monday when the UIL conducts its bi-annual reclassification.

Rockdale Athletic Director Jeff Miller has assured me he already knows who will join his Tigers in the new district but has been sworn to secrecy.

That’s a joke.

As I have stated many times here, nobody knows what the alignments are until they are announced. Nobody.

“I don’t have a guess or a preference,” Miller said. “We’ll just be glad when it’s all done with.”

As always, the most anticipated announcement in high school sports will produce surprises galore.

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Remember two years ago, the shortsided UIL foolishly placed Austin Johnston in Rockdale’s District 24-3A, when it was widely known that there was the great possibility it would close down because of academic failures.

Miller Miller Well, of course it did, which left the district teams scrambling to fill that huge hole in their schedules.

Apparently, Johnston—which is now called Eastside Memorial— is going to re-enter UIL competition again as a Class 3A school so be prepared for anything.

The cutoff to be included in Class 3A two years ago was an enrollment of 430 to 979 students and it is expected to remain the same or close to it this go-round.

There were just 177 Class 3A schools in the past two seasons, but that number is expected to grow drastically this time to over 200, because of a record number of teams dropping down from Class 4A.

Lampasas—a onetime district mate to Rockdale and 2009 opponent— is expected to drop down as is Austin Reagan.

Another former district opponent, mer nent, Del Valle, will spring into Class 5A.

Another reason for the increase is that there are a flurry of inner city schools in both Dallas and Houston (ie: Dallas Lincoln, Houston Kashmere) that are losing enrollment by the truckloads.

Here’s two things that we do know on the local front: arch rival Cameron is finally dropping back down to Class 2A and two-year old newcomer Bryan Rudder is heading upward to Class 4A.

Miller indicated that Taylor (882) and Navasota (806) have turned in numbers that would leave them in Class 3A.

There was some speculation that the Ducks would move back up to 4A, however, Taylor lost a whopping 61 students.

Salado (469 enrollment) is expected to move up to Class 3A so it could be a district mate possibility.

According to high school ratings expert Carl Padilla, Rockdale’s new District 21 will include Caldwell, Madisonville, Navasota and Taylor.

Rudder is the floater here, because their growing enrollment is not known.

Look for another team to replace them and 21 will become a six-team district.

Cameron, which dropped in enrollment from 437 to 425 from two years ago is expected to move in with Blanco, Comfort, Florence, Ingram Tom Moore, Lago Vista and Little River-Academy.

That league schedule alone will make them eligible for frequent flyer miles (which is doubled on the yellow dog conversion chart).

History has shown that Rockdale moves around more than Osama Bin Laden.

In the past three realignments, the Tigers have been thrown in with 12 different schools.

“That’s insane,” Miller says. “We’re so centrally located, we can go anywhere.”

On Oct. 15, Rockdale turned in an enrollment of 529, which is up six from two years ago.

The Tigers have gone west (Liberty Hill, Hutto), east (Troy, Lorena, Marlin)

As things stand right now, Miller has already scheduled Cameron (week 2), Salado (week 3), Liberty Hill (week 4) and LaGrange (week 5).

As I’ve stated before, I’d like to see Rockdale get back into the classic district lineup, with Taylor, Caldwell, Giddings, Smithville and LaGrange— where the history and tradition lies.

But if history has taught us anything, it’s that the UIL has a tradition of surprising you.

Class A

There will be big changes coming for neighbors Milano and Thorndale as Class A splits into Division I and Division II (large school-small school) beginning next season.

That means it is unlikely that Milano (152 enrollment) and Thorndale (191) will occupy the same district anymore.

The cutoff for Division I is 153-210, while Division II slams shut at 152-and below.

Look for Thorndale to be grouped with Thrall, Granger, Somerville, Normangee, Iola and newcomer Snook.

Basketball power Snook will be fielding its first football team ever.

Padilla has Thorndale in Region IV, District 13A with Thrall, Moody, Mart and Riesel.

Milano could be corraled with Bartlett, Holland, Burton, Bremond, Chilton and Evant.

Padilla’s chart has the Eagles in an eight-team district with Bartlett, Burton, Granger, Holland, Iola, Somerville and Snook.

While the new Class A system promotes more equality, it certainly will put a strain on the state’s yellow dog express.

LOOP LEGEND

Here’s a complete list of the teams that have occupied a district with Rockdale and the total years:

School Years
Cameron 50
Caldwell 40
Hearne 37
Taylor 31
Rosebud 23
Belton 20
Elgin 19
Georgetown 18
Giddings 16
Manor 15
Granger 13
Round Rock 13
Thrall 11
Lockhart 10
Smithville 10
Thorndale 9
Del Valle 8
Navasota 8
Madisonville 8
Lampasas 8
Gatesville 8
Killeen 6
Copperas Cove 4
A&M Consolidated 4
Hutto 4
Marlin 4
LaGrange 4
Bartlett 3
Pflugerville 2
Holland 2
San Marcos 2
Seguin 2
New Braunfels 2
Liberty Hill 2
Lorena 2
Troy 2
Bryan Rudder 2
Franklin 1


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