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New UIL classification cutoff numbers: Let the speculation begin

By Hayden Henry
Dec. 2, 2013 at 7:16 a.m.


Let the speculation begin.

The University Interscholastic League began its biennial shakeup on Monday by releasing official cutoff numbers regarding classification for the 2014-15 season.

Let the speculation begin.

The University Interscholastic League began its biennial shakeup Monday by releasing official cutoff numbers regarding classification for the 2014-15 season.

While area teams now know where they will land class-wise, the official district realignments won't come until February.

In the release, a new 6A division was created that will essentially be what is currently the 5A classification with six-man now being 1A. Another notable change on Monday will divide the new 4A class (current 3A) into division I and II before the season as opposed to after the regular season, which is the current method.

Tyler Lee is the lone East Texas school to make the jump to the new 6A leaving behind 13 area schools in the new 5A - notably Longview. The Lobos will remain in 5A with an enrollment of 2066 - 44 students short of joining the Red Raiders.

That leaves Pine Tree, Lufkin, John Tyler, Nacogdoches, Marshall, Texas High, Hallsville, Jackonsville, Lindale, Sulphur Springs and Whitehouse in the new 5A, setting up countless possibilities of at least two East Texas districts that teams have seen before.

Kilgore missed the jump to 5A by 34 students, making the Bulldogs one of the largest 4A Division I schools in East Texas among the likes of Carthage, Chapel Hill and Henderson. Gilmer will be the largest 4A Division II team while Carthage will be among the smallest 4A Division I teams.

Tatum makes the leap to 4A with a 518 enrollment on snapshot day.

While the UIL's Monday release came earlier this year than in the past, not knowing where teams will fall district-wise creates an issue for teams looking to fill out a non-district slate.

"It's going to be tough to figure out the schedule for 2014-15," Longview head coach John King said. "Right now, we know where we're at but there's 13 teams in East Texas that are in the same classification and you just won't know how the UIL will divide that up. I know that some of the teams that we've talked to about playing in a non-district game could end up in our district so we could be looking to fill up our non-district schedule when we find out in February."

Hallsville athletic director David Plunk said that the Bobcats will see little change in the schedule, aside from the Lobos essentially dropping a classification.

"We all knew where we were going to be but the biggest thing is that Longview will be moving down. But, who knows whether they'll end up in our district or not," Plunk said. "We're used to it. Being where we are now (in 4A), we can go anywhere from up in Texarkana to down to Jacksonville or anywhere in between and you never know where everyone will fall. I try to set up a basic non-district slate and you better have a back-up plan for when you walk into that room in February and make sure you have contacts in case the district doesn't go like you expected it to."

With Longview being a higher classification in the most recent realignment, Monday's shakeup could pit Marshall and the Lobos together once again as district opponents or, come February, the annual meet could just be another non-district contest.

"You see all the possibilities of whether we can be in a district with Marshall or not and you can't go out and schedule a non-district game and not play Marshall - that's not going to happen." King said. "For expample, Lufkin and John Tyler are two teams that we talked about playing early that could end up in our district.

"Talking with all the East Texas coaches and teams that we've talked about playing, no one is going to scratch an East Texas team out just yet. They're going to wait until February."

With a lot of possibilities of renewing old rivalries or beginning new ones, the truth will come February 3. Until then it's all a guessing game.

<em>Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/hayden_h" target="_blank">@hayden_h</a></em>

<p style="text-align: center;">*

The <a href="http://www.uiltexas.org/files/alignments/Conference_Cutoff_Numbers_2014.pdf" target="_blank">new numbers</a> for realignment:

<strong>6A:</strong> 2,100 and above

<strong>5A:</strong> 1,060 to 2,099

<strong>4A:</strong> 465 to 1,059 (Division I, 686-1,059; Division II, 465-685)

<strong>3A:</strong> 220 to 464 (Division I, 315-464; Division II, 220-314)

<strong>2A:</strong> 105-219 (Division I, 158-219; Division II, 105-157)

<strong>1A (formerly six-man):</strong> 104.9 and below (Division I, 55-104.9; Division II, 54 and below)

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