After much discussion and speculation, Thursday is finally the day when the University Interscholastic League announces realignment for the 2018-2020 period.
This column has already discussed at length the major changes coming and their potential effects on local football teams.
So, before the real deal is announced Thursday morning (look for that article at galvnews.com or in Friday’s sports section), here is a mock realignment for districts featuring Galveston County teams, as well as the districts they would face in the first round of the playoffs.
I’ll present an easy prediction for District 24-6A, a tough prediction for the new Ball High and Texas City district and a crazy prediction for the new Santa Fe district.
Who: Alvin, Clear Brook, Clear Creek, Clear Falls, Clear Lake, Clear Springs, Dickinson
Why: Keep it simple. This is just the current District 24-6A without Friendswood, which drops to Class 5A in the new realignment period.
Who: Brazoswood, Channelview, North Shore, Deer Park, La Porte, Pearland, Pearland Dawson
Why: Growth north and west in the greater Houston area could move more teams in that area into Region II, breaking up multiple Region III districts. In this scenario, close rivals Channelview and North Shore, as well as Deer Park and La Porte find a new home with current 23-6A teams Pearland, Dawson and Brazoswood.
Who: Alvin Shadow Creek, Angleton, Ball High, Fort Bend Hightower, Friendswood, Richmond Foster, Rosenberg Terry, Texas City
Why: The county’s 5A teams continue a trend of moving west. Friendswood replaces current 23-5A team Santa Fe (which drops to 5A, Division II), Fort Bend Hightower (dropping from 6A) replaces Fort Bend Elkins (moved up to 6A) and new program Shadow Creek pushes Galena Park to a more Houston-centric district.
Who: Galena Park, Goose Creek Memorial, Houston Austin, Houston Wisdom, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Porter, Port Arthur Memorial
Why: Three teams from inside the tollway, three teams from the northwest side of the Houston area and two outliers from east of the city getting lumped together makes sense here.
DISTRICT 13-5A-II (REGION IV)
Who: Fort Bend Marshall, Fort Bend Willowridge, Lamar Consolidated, Katy Paetow, Manvel, Port Lavaca Calhoun, Santa Fe
Why: This combines the former members of Districts 23-5A and 27-5A following 5A’s split into two divisions. It also includes new program Paetow, as Santa Fe’s district continues a westward trend.
Who: (all San Antonio teams) Burbank, Brackenridge, Edison, Kennedy, McCollum, Memorial, Sam Houston, Southside
Why: If Santa Fe and the rest of the bunch get shifted to Region IV, chances are they’ll face the bi-district competition 27-5A saw in the previous realignment, which was an all-San Antonio district.
The smaller schools are wild cards. La Marque (Class 4A-II) could either join a district featuring Houston ISD teams plus the likes of Sweeny and Wharton, or the Coogs could go east and join teams like West Orange-Stark, Liberty and Hamshire-Fannett.
Hitchcock (Class 3A-I) could return to Region IV (where it was for many years prior to the most recent realignment), or the Bulldogs could stay in Region III with current district foes like Hardin, Anahuac, East Chambers and Hempstead.