UIL realignment: if it makes sense, it doesn’t happen

When it comes to the University Interscholastic League’s bi-annual district realignment, Temple coach and athletic director Mike Spradlin was quoted recently as saying, “The only thing that scares me is when it makes the most sense, it doesn’t happen.”

Amen, brother.

Never have I heard a more prophetic way to describe the situation.

The UIL’s redistricting is the most well-guarded secret as well as the most roundly criticized process in the free world.

Let me just say right off, that I have worked closely with the UIL over the past three decades and there is not a more difficult task that they do than setting up the state’s competitive leagues for 1,300 schools.

It’s hard work, folks.

I know that six UIL staffers start out by putting a giant red cross on the state of Texas to signify the four regions and proceed from there, with a box full of rubber bands and push pins.

However, sometimes it’s downright frustrating to understand why they do what they do.

(IE: Lexington in a district with teams in San Antonio and in the San Antonio area?)

It is also incredible that in this day and age of social media, that they are able to keep it under wraps.

I have opined in this space on several occassions, that I would love to see Rockdale positioned in a district with Taylor, Caldwell, LaGrange, Smithville and Giddings.

Travel would be nil and these teams have a built in rivalry being so close together. It makes for a short night for everybody concerned.

They almost pulled it off two years ago, but instead of Taylor, stuck Navasota in with the Central Texans and shipped the Ducks out west.

That takes me back to Spradlin’s prophecy of “making the most sense.”

Didn’t understand how they could separate Rockdale-Taylor— which are 24 miles apart— and include Navasota which is nearly 90 miles to the east.

They granted one of my wishes this go-round and brought Taylor back, but then furloughed Giddings, LaGrange and Smithville so far east that they are now in a completely different region (IV) and in with powerhouses Cuero and Gonzales.

The Tigers would have played Madisonville regardless, but that’s a pretty good trip on a yellow dog for Taylor as well as traveling to Navasota.

“It’s unusual having Taylor and Madisonville in the same district,” said Rockdale coach Jeff Miller. “That just shows that their (UIL) division line was north and south.”

Also, not unlike Bryan Rudder four years ago, the new College Station High School played a role in the off-beat District 18-3A, including the fact that they will never play football in this district.

And again, like Rudder, it will be a short stay in 3A for College Station which has a projected enrollment of 917 and is made up of just freshmen and sophomores. It will surely make the leap to 4A in 2014 when it features four full classes.

Of course having Caldwell in its district is no surprise to Rockdale, these two schools have been tethered together for 44 years now, that’s second only to Cameron (50).

Now having Cameron and Caldwell on your schedule, that makes perfect sense. Just don’t tell the UIL.

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2012-02-09 digital edition

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