Happy Realignment Day! We’re taking a break from basketball season this week to bring you coverage of UIL District Realignment. Every two years, the UIL realigns districts across the state. The new district realignments were released on Monday morning and teams across the state are filling out their non-district schedules as well. Here are some of the biggest headlines so far.
District 11-6A will consist of DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Mansfield, Lake Ridge, Waco Midway, Waco, and Waxahachie. That is a DENSE district. Midway made a run to the 6A DII State Championship Game just a few years ago. Duncanville has been to the 6A DI State Championship Game each of the last two years. Cedar Hill was back-to-back State Champions in 2013 and 2014 under Joey McGuire. DeSoto won its first State Championship in 2016. All of these teams have experienced recent success. These schools are all located in talent rich areas of the state and the four who make the playoffs each year might be among the most battle-tested teams in the entire state. On top of a tough district schedule, DeSoto is slated to play San Antonio powerhouse Converse Judson in non-district. Football season can’t come soon enough and there will most certainly be some deserving teams who don't make it to the post-season out of this district.
District 7-5A DI
Highland Park will be joining a more challenging district for the next two years. The Scots will join Longview, McKinney North, Tyler, Sherman, West Mesquite, and Wylie East in District 7-5A DI. Highland Park and Longview are the two obvious powers in this district. Highland Park was eliminated by Frisco Lone Star in the playoffs this year but won the 5A DI State Championship each of the previous three years. Longview won its first State Championship in quite a while in 2018 with a 35-34 win over Beaumont West Brook in the 6A DII State Championship Game. Highland Park hasn’t been tested in district much over the last few years, but that will change in 2020.
District 5-5A DI
Denton Ryan and Frisco Lone Star will be in the same district for the next two years. Those two join Denton and The Colony, along with a slew of other Frisco schools. Centennial, Heritage, Independence, Reedy and Wakeland will also be in this group. Denton Ryan got the better of Frisco Lone Star in the 5A DI State Semifinal Game, but the Rangers will have two shots at Denton Ryan in the next two years. Rising junior quarterback Garret Rangel will be without star receiver Marvin Mims and Denton Ryan loses Drew Sanders to Alabama. There will be some new faces but we’ll be looking forward to watching these two programs face each other.
Lone Star defeated Highland Park twice last season and impressed throughout. It was a little more difficult to get a good read on Denton Ryan because the Raiders blew out every opponent they faced. Now, Denton Ryan will face much tougher competition in district.
Non-District Games in 2020
Here are a few matchups I will be looking forward to the most.
Southlake Carroll vs Austin Westlake
This isn’t breaking news as it was announced publicly last week but the Dodge Bowl will be taking place at AT&T Stadium! There really isn’t a better way to kick off the 2020 football season. The game will be played in the best football venue in the world. Austin Westlake will enter this one as the defending 6A DII State Champions. Southlake Carroll will be a contender in 6A DI over the next two years with star quarterback Quinn Ewers returning for his junior season with a full year of experience under his belt. And of course, the storylines or this one add to the intrigue. Todd Dodge coached his son, Riley, and the Southlake Carroll Dragons through the greatest stretch in program history. Riley is now the head coach at Southlake, coaching his own prodigy in Ewers, and against his dad for the first time.
DeSoto vs Converse Judson
DFW area teams don’t get to see Converse Judson very often. It pretty much only happens in the State Championship Game. DeSoto will get a look at the San Antonio power in week one next season. I haven’t yet seen information on where the game will be played. This matchup will be a treat and I hope DFW fans can make it to this one.
Allen vs Atascocita
Allen will be playing Houston power Atascocita next fall. The Atascocita Eagles led the entire state in scoring last season with 57.7 points per game. Atascocita is in a district with Galena Park North Shore and Beaumont West Brook so they will have a couple of strong challenges in district play. Now they’ll add a trip to Allen to their schedule in week two.
Euless Trinity at Austin Westlake
Trinity never liked an easy non-district schedule. Austin Westlake doesn’t either, apparently. The Chaps will travel north to take on Southlake Carroll before returning home for an enticing matchup with Trinity in week two. Although this game will be taking place in Austin and not many DFW area fans will make it down due to there being so many good week two matchups in the metroplex, this is one fans should still keep an eye on. I will also be interested to see how Westlake handles playing such a tough schedule to open up the season.
We’ll have more on this over on our Houston site. Be sure to check out The Cooldown on IHSS: Houston for Houston area realignment coverage. I had to mention this though because two Houston area teams are playing in massive week one games with state pride on the line.
Galena Park North Shore vs De La Salle (CA)
The back-to-back defending 6A DI State Champions will welcome in national powerhouse De La Salle in week one. This game will likely be nationally televised. De La Salle won four straight state championships in California during a ridiculous run from 2009-2012. The movie When the Game Stands Tall is based on this football program. De La Salle last traveled to Texas in 2015 as the No.1 ranked team in the nation but fell to perennial powerhouse Euless Trinity, 26-21. You may remember the Trojans would go on to a perfect 10-0 regular season but had a first-round playoff exit to a good South Grand Prairie team.
California and Texas have debated for years between which state has better high school football. Texas has always been a target for out-of-state programs looking to beat the best our state has to offer. De La Salle lost in 2015, but that was five years ago. Bragging rights are on the line once again. North Shore will need Dematrius Davis and Shadrach Banks at full strength for this one. This isn’t just a game. This is for Texas.
Shadow Creek vs St. Joseph’s (PA)
Immediately following the North Shore- De La Salle game at Galena Park ISD Stadium, Shadow Creek will get a crack at another national power. The defending 5A DII State Champions will take on St. Joseph’s from Pennsylvania. St. Joseph’s is the defending PIAA 6A State Champions. Quarterback Kyle McCord is back for St. Joseph’s and Shadow Creek is in for a test in its first game as a 6A program. McCord is a four-star quarterback and committed to Ohio State. Once again, this is for state pride. These are two massive matchups that should sellout GPISD Stadium.