Return of the Ducks: Taylor back in the fold

UIL busts up cozy district, forces return of storied rivalry

While blood rivals Rockdale and Taylor were reluctant to pencil each other in on their respective schedules, the University Interscholastic League stepped in and took care of that minor detail.

In the UIL’s bi-annual classification re-alignment Thursday mor ning, t he feuding neighbors were placed in the same district after a two-year absence.

The two schools have not played each other in two years, snapping a 57-year streak of a series that began in 1912.

They have played each other 79 times.

The Tigers and Ducks will be joined in newly formed District 18-3A with Caldwell, Madisonville, Navasota and the brand new College Station High School.

“This is a really good district said Rockdale Athletic Director Jeff Miller. “Navasota is as good as anyone in the state. Top to bot- tom it is a really strong district.”

Taylor refused to schedule Rockdale at the last realignment in 2010 after being sent west in another district.

Miller was not going to schedule the Ducks this go-round.

Taylor, which is almost double the size of the rest of the schools in the district with 882 students, has struggled under Coach Rick Cobia and in his six years has gone 19-42 overall and 8-22 in district with six straight losing seasons.

It is unclear whether he will be the coach next season or not.

Rockdale has dominated the Ducks in their last two meetings, winning by a combined score of 99-35.

Miller insisted there is no animosity between the two schools and as a matter of fact, he and RISD Superintendent Dr. Howell Wright rode to the realignment center in Round Rock with Cobia and his coaches.

Miller will not have to deal with any additional travel as far as district is concerned (longest trip is 84 miles to Madisonville, which they would have played regardless), but he had to scrape up another non-district opponent since College Station High has just a sophomore and freshmen enrollment and will not compete at the varsity level in football.

College Station just recently hired an athletic director and head coach in former A&M Consolidated assistant Steve Huff.

Miller also had to replace Madisonville in the non- district schedule because they had already agreed to play earlier in the season.

Miller had already penciled in Salado (which dropped back down to 2A), Burnet, Cameron and Liberty Hill and on Thursday replaced College Station and Madisonville with Smithville and Hillsboro.

So far, the 2012 non-district schedule looks like this: Aug. 31 at Salado Sept. 7 Burnet Sept. 14 at Cameron Sept. 21 Liberty Hill* Sept. 28 Smithville Oct. 5 Hillsboro*

(Either Liberty Hill or Hillsboro will be home game.)

Of the teams in the new alignment, only Navasota and Taylor made the playoffs in 2011.

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