• April 2, 2020

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Permian Basin teams reunited with San Angelo Central, Abilene in District 2-6A - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Permian Basin teams reunited with San Angelo Central, Abilene in District 2-6A

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2020 3:15 pm

MIDLAND What had been anticipated over the last few months was made official Monday. The Little Southwest Conference is back together once again.

That is what Odessa High and Permian both learned during a meeting of coaches as part of the University Interscholastic League realignment process.

San Angelo Central and Abilene High are rejoining District 2-6A with the Ector County Independent School District schools and with familiar faces in Midland High, Midland Lee and Wolfforth Frenship. The Bobcats and Eagles were previously paired with schools from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Abilene High is back in for the first time since the 2015-16 alignment, while Central is back in it for the first time since the 2017-18 alignment.

Gone from 2-6A is Amarillo Tascosa, which dropped down to 5A Division I and is paired up in its own seven-team district with hometown schools Amarillo High, Caprock and Palo Duro along with Lubbock Coronado, Lubbock Monterey and Lubbock High.

It was a change that ECISD executive athletic director Bruce McCrary anticipated and is glad that the big schools in West Texas are back together again.

“We’re happy and excited that those schools are coming back,” said McCrary at the Region 18 Educational Service Center. “Our community connects with Abilene and San Angelo really well. I think we’ll have a lot of great games and crowds and that’s something we’re excited about.”

The new districts announced Monday were for football, volleyball and basketball with alignments for other sports to be unveiled at a later date. The same seven-team setup carries over into those sports as well. Past district alignments had San Angelo Central paired with schools in Killeen and Waco.

Neither Odessa High football coach Danny Servance nor Permian coach Jeff Ellison were surprised by how the districts turned out. That allowed each of them to put together a more solid plan of finding opponents over the next two seasons.

The Bronchos and Panthers spent the past two seasons in one of just three six-team alignments in Class 6A, which made it more difficult to find Class 6A opponents for Weeks 4 and 5. Five of the 2-6A members in 2018 and 2019 played Week 5 games against teams from District 32-6A in the Rio Grande Valley.

This time around, District 13-6A in the Houston area is the lone six-team district in 6A.

 “It definitely made things easier scheduling,” Servance said. “When we looked at the numbers, I would say it made it pretty easy to guess what was going to happen. You still never know what the UIL is going to do, but we were proactive in trying to get things done.”

Ellison added that he took a similar approach and acknowledged that having multiple plans of action can go a long way.

“I think a lot of coaches do what we do and work on these schedules for months,” Ellison said. “You get things lined up and you just don’t really know until today exactly how it’s going to come down.”

Odessa High was able to fill its nondistrict schedule with a mix of familiar opponents and new faces. The Bronchos will take on Lubbock Monterey and Lubbock Coronado once again, while adding Del Rio and Wichita Falls Rider to the mix.

Servance also said that Odessa High will have spring football, but its scrimmage opponent is still to be determined.

“It’s still a tough schedule for us,” Servance said. “We still play the Lubbock schools and Week 2 is different playing Del Rio as opposed teams from Arizona and Mississippi that we played each of the last two years.

“As for district, it’s almost back to the Little Southwest Conference. Both Abilene High and San Angelo Central have great coaches and disciplined kids, so it’ll be a tough district like it always is.”

Permian is still working to fill its schedule, but tentatively had games scheduled with El Paso Pebble Hills, El Paso Franklin and Waco Midway with a Week 4 opponent still to be determined.

Another big change in the new seven-team district is one team will take its open date with each week of the district schedule. Every team took a week off at the same time in the previous six-team district.

The open date for Permian is scheduled for Week 10, the penultimate week of the season. Odessa High, however, has its open date during Week 11 on the final week of the regular season.

“It’s the one bye week I don’t like,” Servance said.

Ellison said that it simply comes down to making the best of wherever the draw is.

“There are advantages to having both,” he said. “That’s just the way it is and we’re just going to try and make the best of it.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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