The Cooldown: Week 20
The Texas UIL released its 2024-26 realignment today and the Cooldown will recap three quick thoughts on realignment before a full recap in next week’s edition of the Cooldown. Some things to note before we get started: DeSoto turned in 5A numbers but opted up to 6A and remained in District 11-6A. Highland Park made the move back down to 5A-I where it will compete in District 7-5A-I, which includes a number of metroplex area schools….and Lufkin? Our own Professor Diggs offered plenty of thoughts on realignment, but even he can’t call Lufkin DFW’s own.
District 4-5A-II Among Area’s Best
The new District 4-5A-II includes Anna, Denison, Frisco Emerson, Frisco Independence, Frisco Liberty, Frisco Memorial, Lovejoy, Melissa and Prosper Walnut Grove. Anna won the 4A-I State Championship Game last year and its debut in 5A-II won’t be an easy adjustment. Frisco Emerson reached the state semifinal in its second season, Lovejoy went 12-2 last season and tabbed legendary coach Todd Dodge to run the program this offseason. That’s not to mention Melissa’s 10-2 season last year, or the wild card that is Prosper Walnut Grove.
This district is going to be a gauntlet to navigate. While that should only help its teams prepare for the playoffs, just making the playoffs will be no easy task. Frisco Independence and Frisco Liberty in particular are going to have to come a long way in a short period of time if a playoff spot is going to be in the cards in the next two seasons. As for us, watching the games in this district week in and week out will be so much fun. I can’t wait for these teams to hit the field in August so we can get a better idea at who might represent this district in the playoffs.
District 11-6A Improves
District 11-6A has arguably been the toughest football district in the state over the last two years. In back-to-back years, District 11-6A produced both 6A champions. That means the other 31 6A districts in Texas were completely shutout of winning a state title. I can’t remember another time that has ever happened. Cedar Hill struggled to compete in 2022, but its turnaround in 2023 has Longhorn fans excited for the future. Skyline and Waxahachie, another regular playoff participant, return to the district. The three Mansfield ISD schools depart as Lancaster, Mesquite and Mesquite Horn replace them.
Adding Lancaster to Duncanville, DeSoto and Cedar Hill means there won’t be a faster district in Texas. The speed these schools have produced over the last few years has been enough to feed entire SEC programs. Yet, if those four schools make the playoffs, really quality schools will get left out of the playoffs. Waxahachie has proved its worthy of the playoffs, and Mesquite Horn has turned its fortunes around the last few seasons as well.
The Nine Team District 4-6A
District 4-6A gets a bit of a makeover, which was expected with Keller Fossil Ridge dropping down to 5A-I and leaving the other three Keller ISD schools to compete at the 6A level. This district is particularly interesting because Southlake Carroll and Euless Trinity are back in the same district. It’s been a few years, but these two schools will get to resume what has been one of the best rivalries in the DFW metroplex over the years. Trinity and Southlake Carroll are joined by LD Bell, Keller, Keller Central, Keller Timber Creek, Northwest, Eaton and Byron Nelson.
I can remember Southlake Carroll getting paired with Trinity in the past, as well as the Trojans playing in a district with Keller ISD. What I don’t remember happening is HEB ISD, Keller ISD and Carroll ISD all being in the same district. Add Northwest ISD to the mix and welcome Northwest High School back to the 6A ranks and it makes for an interesting nine district affair. Southlake Carroll has been one of the most dominant programs of the last half decade not to win a state title, Byron Nelson has been a school on the rise over the last two years, Trinity is finding its mojo again. This district has the potential to be interesting at the top.