Schools will learn of district fate Monday

Tigers prepare for foray into lower class

The annual “Battle of the Bell” between Rockdale and Cameron could become of district importance as well. 
Reporter/Bill Martin The annual “Battle of the Bell” between Rockdale and Cameron could become of district importance as well. Reporter/Bill Martin Rockdale and its fans have already come to terms with the fact that they are dropping down a classification.

Now the Tigers and every school around the state will learn of their district fate when the University Interscholastic League announces its bi-annual district realignment at 9 a.m. Monday.

This is an unprecedented realignment in UIL history, because it will be the first to include a Class 6A, which will involve the largest schools in the state.

It is also important because for the first time, classes will be divided into divisions before the playoffs begin. There will be no big school/small school designation as has been the case in the past, that will be taken care of in the realignment.

For the first time since the 1979-1980 school year, Rockdale will play in a lower class than (old) Class 3A.

While the Tigers will remain in Class 3A, it is actually the new Class 2A. The UIL added a 6A for large school competition, so all classes were bumped up one number.

Six-man football will now be called Class A.

Class 2A has been very good to Rockdale. The Tigers won state in football and Track in 2A in 1976-1977.

Rockdale—which reached the regional quarterfinals this past football season in 3A—turned in a snapshot enrollment of 446 on Oct. 25, which is 19 below the new Class 4A cutoff. Two years ago, the cutoff was 474.

Rockdale will become a Class 3A Division I team and will probably join old rival Cameron (390 enrollment) in a district again, which will make the annual “Battle of th Bell” even more important.

They have been included in a district with Cameron for 50 total years.

The last time the two rivals were in a league together was 2007, before the Yoemen dropped down to Class A where they have won two straight state championships in football and one in baseball and track.

Area teams Thorndale (185) and Milano (149) will remain at their current status, but reclassified as Class 2A.

Rockdale is the only current District 18-3A team that is dropping down.

The Tigers have spent two different stints in Class 2A, the first from 1954-65 and the second time from 1976-79.

In football, they fashioned a 112-61 record overall and were 11-4 in the playoffs, including two appearances in the state championship game.

Rockdale could find itself in a district with schools like McGregor, Troy, West, Hillsboro, Academy or Lago Vista as well as Cameron.

Neighbors Lexington, Rogers and Hearne will be part of Class 3A, Division II.

The Tigers have never been in a district with McGregor, West or Academy.

They briefly resided in a district with Troy in 2002-03.

“People that think we will be in an easier district need to think otherwise,” Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller said. “That could possibly be as tough or tougher than the one that we are currently in.”

Despite dropping down in class, Miller has already penciled in his pre-district schedule with primarily Class 3A schools.

The projected schedule includes games against rival Taylor, former Class 3A district neighbors Madisonville, Smithville and Caldwell along with Salado, who the Tigers have played the past four seasons.

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