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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area coaches react to UIL realignment - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area coaches react to UIL realignment

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2020 4:00 pm

MIDLAND After months of waiting, the much anticipated UIL realignment meeting came and went as area coaches scrambled to see what district they were heading to at the biennial announcement Monday at the Region 18 Service Center.

When all was said and done, most coaches weren’t too surprised by the outcome.

But one of the biggest changes is the number of districts with local 11-man teams containing four teams.

Only one area 11-man football district will have four teams as District 2-4A Division I will feature Andrews, Fort Stockton, Big Springs and San Angelo Lake View.

Prior to the new alignment, there were four districts containing area 11-man teams with only four schools.

“I think it fell the way that we were anticipating it to fall,” Fort Stockton head coach Mike Peters said. “We’ve got some teams in there that we’re used to playing and I think we’re excited about getting the season started.”

Fort Stockton is making the switch from 4A Division II to Division I.

“Dropping down to a smaller numbered district, we have a four-team district and that presents itself with a new thing,” Peters said. “But other than that, I see things going the same way that they have in the past.”

There will be two districts at the six-man level that will feature four teams.

District 5-1A Division I will contain Fort Davis, Buena Vista, Marfa and Van Horn, while District 6 will contain Garden City, Grady, Rankin and TLC-Midland.

Van Horn is the only area school to move down a classification.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Van Horn head coach Brock Tyrrell said. “It’s going to be a little of an unknown for us, but we’re excited about the challenge. No matter what, we know that our kids are going to go out and give it their best and that’s all that we can ask of them.”

Among other things that’ll be different for Van Horn will be the closer proximity to its new district opponents.

“It’ll have a lot of closer travel,” Tyrrell said. “The travel is not going to be as long as it had been and that means less time out of the classrooms for the kids and more time for them to focus on their work.”

But as far as the competition goes, Tyrrell is expecting much of the same from before.

“I think the competition is going to be there,” Tyrrell said. “It’ll be competitive for us and we’re excited to learn and to give it our best shot. These guys have been doing it for a long time and it’ll be great to go in there and learn.”

One addition from Monday’s realignment was Odessa Compass Academy, which will field its first varsity team this fall.

“I’m excited,” Odessa Compass Academy head coach JD Granado said. “Obviously, we’re going to have to watch film but I think we’ll do pretty well and be able to bring a good competitive district.”

The charter school will compete in District 3A Division II against Alpine, Crane, Anthony and Tornillo.

“We know the teams in our district have a lot of tradition and that’s real West Texas football,” Granado said. “It’s great to be able to be a part of that district.”

Unlike most teams in the area, Class 3A Division II will feature its share of lengthy road trips.

“The UIL never ceases to surprise me,” Crane head coach Jeff Cordell said. “There were some predictions about our possible district and it actually worked out. The UIL did what others predicted it would be. The only thing for us is that it adds another long trip to our district travel, adding Tornillo. That’ll be a long drive. But we’ll make it work and our kids are used to traveling there from Crane. We added a charter school in Odessa and that makes up for the long travel.”

District 2-1A Division II will contain Balmorhea, Dell City, Grandfalls-Royalty, Sanderson, Sierra Blanca and Valentine.

District 1-2A Division II will feature McCamey, Iraan, Wink, Plains and Seagraves.

“I think I need to work for the UIL because it turned out the way I thought it would,” Wink head coach Brian Gibson said. “It worked out well. We’re in a five-team district and it’ll be pretty competitive. We’re excited about not having to compete in a four-team district like we have the last couple of years. I think we’ll have a very competitive schedule.”

District 1-3A Division I will have Kermit, Brownfield, Denver City, Lamesa, Shallowater and Slaton.

District 1-4A Division II will have Greenwood, Monahans, Pecos, Snyder and Sweetwater.

“It’s about where we expected,” Pecos head coach Chad Olson said. “There were a couple of hiccups that we thought might happen but it was about where we expected and it is what it is. There are only so many 4A Division II teams in West Texas.”

Seminole has been placed in District 2-4A Division II with Borger, Levelland, Lubbock Estacado and Perryton.

Odessa, TX

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