The UIL has realigned for the 2020-2022 seasons and as is always the case, the moves have brought some new and surprising changes.
The biggest surprise is Ballinger’s rival, Cisco, dropping down to 2A. Cisco was dominant in 3A, with an impressive 11-2 record during the season. The realignment also moves Anson, Coleman, Merkel and TLCA. Ballinger will fall under 3A- Division 2, Region 1, District 2.
For football, their district will include Ballinger, Bangs, Brady, Ingram Moore, Grape Creek and Sonora. Last season Ingram Moore went 3-7 overall and 0-5 in their now-former district. Sonora was 4-7 overall and 2-3 in their now-former district. The move could bode well for Ballinger, as they’re now the favorite to win their district.
On the basketball side of things, Ballinger will move from 3A Region 1, District 4 to 3A Region 1, District 6. The Bearcats former district consisted of Wall, TLCA, Brady, Sonora, Reagan County and Grape Creek. Their new district will include the Bearcats, Wall, Brady, Clyde, Merkel, Grape Creek, TLCA and Tuscola – Jim Ned. Their new district has 7 teams whereas the old one had 6 teams.
Winters will go from 2A-1 Region 1, District 3 to 2A Division 1, Region 1, District 4. The Blizzards former district consisted of Hawley, Ozona, Stamford and Forsan. The new district will have Cisco, Coleman, De Leon, Goldthwaite and San Saba. Ballinger’s district losing Cisco is Winters’ gain. There will be some exciting matchups over the next couple of seasons. Winters head football coach and athletic director, Matt McCarty commented on the change, “I think both of our districts for basketball and football are going to be tough just about every week. We will continue preparing the same as we have every year though. You train as hard as you can during the season and offseason to prepare you for those tough games and we will keep doing that regardless of who we are playing.”
In basketball, Winters and Miles are in the same district once again. They’ll compete in 2A Region 1, District 8. Also in their district will be Coleman, Colorado City, Forsan and Roscoe Collegiate. The move takes Eldorado, Ozona and Christoval out of their district.
Christoval, Eldorado, Fort Hancock, McCamey, Ozona and Wink will be in district 7.
Miles football will move to 2A-2, Region 4, District 14. The district includes Christoval, Eldorado, Junction, Menard and Rocksprings. Junction will be the new kid on the block in a district that largely remained unchanged.
In volleyball, Miles will stay in 2A Region 1, District 7. In addition to Miles, the district will now have Colorado City, Bronte, Loraine, Olfen, Paint Rock, Veribest and Water Valley. The schools leaving the district are Sterling City and Rochelle. The new schools the Bulldogs will be facing are Colorado City, Loraine and Olfen. This will be Olfen’s first foray into varsity sports at the district level.
Olfen will also compete in 6-man football in 1A, Division 2, District 6. In district play they’ll face Blackwell, Trent, Loraine and TLC-Abilene.
For basketball, Olfen will compete in 1A, Region 1, District 12. The teams that comprise this district, in addition to Olfen, are Eden, Menard, Paint Rock, Santa Anna, Valera Panther Creek and Veribest. Olfen’s athletic director, Travis Tennison, or “Coach T” as he’s fondly called, commented on Olfen’s foray into district play, “I am very excited for Olfen ISD, the students and the community. The opportunity to compete against other schools within the region is definitely going to be a challenge but the students and the coaching staff are up to the task. As we continue to move forward with making history with Olfen ISD, I will continue to preach to our athletes that they have a chance to cement their names in Olfen ISD history by working hard, establish a culture of winning and making Olfen an household name within the region. As the Athletic Director, it is honor and a blessing from GOD to coach and mentor our athletes. I do not take this opportunity for granted.”
Olfen superintendent Gabriel Zamora also commented on the school’s foray into district play, “We are excited to finally know our inaugural districts for football, volleyball, and basketball. It has been something that we have diligently been preparing for, and I believe the work we’ve put in will allow us to be competitive. We have some of the best students in Texas and our staff consistently preaches academics and respect as an important part of being a student athlete. It is an honor to play a role in helping our students become stellar young men and ladies. I’ll conclude by referencing a 1980’s song: ‘The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.’”