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Thousands of Texas communities were affected by the 2020-2022 UIL Realignment, and Austin/San Antonio/Hill Country high schools were among them. Check out VYPE's breakdown of the day's football announcement.
No. 1 Austin Likes New Road: The former 13-6A district, which adds former 5A Division I power Hutto and loses Leander and Pflugerville Hendrickson, will compete under the 25-6A brand in Region IV. Its playoff representatives will open the postseason against lone returning 26-6A member San Marcos or former 25-6A members Austin High, Austin Akins, Austin Bowie, Del Valle, Hays, Lake Travis and Westlake.
No. 2 San Antonio Shake-Up: Cibolo Steele, Converse Judson, New Braunfels, San Antonio East Central, San Antonio Wagner, Schertz Clemens and Smithson Valley will team up with returning 27-6A member South San Antonio. San Antonio Brandeis and San Antonio Clark remain in 28-6A to take on North East ISD (San Antonio Churchill, San Antonio Johnson, San Antonio LEE, San Antonio MacArthur, San Antonio Madison, San Antonio Reagan and San Antonio Roosevelt), while the rest of Northside ISD (Helotes O'Connor, San Antonio Brennan, San Antonio Harlan, San Antonio Holmes, San Antonio Jay, San Antonio Marshall, San Antonio Stevens, San Antonio Taft and San Antonio Warren) makes the move to 29-6A.
UIL 5A Division I
No. 1 New Lineup For Austin: 11-5A Division I returning members Cedar Park, Georgetown, Manor and Pflugerville will now battle Austin Anderson, Leander, Pflugerville Hendrickson and Pflugerville Weiss in district play.
No. 2 Edgewood ISD Replaces Judson ISD: San Antonio Wagner returns to the state's highest classification after a two-year stint in 13-5A Division I and fellow Judson ISD school San Antonio Veterans Memorial makes the move to 12-5A Division I to take on Buda Johnson, Dripping Springs, Harlandale, Kyle Lehman, New Braunfels Canyon, San Antonio McCollum and Seguin. That allowed Edgewood ISD schools San Antonio Kennedy and San Antonio Memorial to team up with seven San Antonio ISD schools (Brackenridge, San Antonio Burbank, San Antonio Edison, San Antonio Highlands, San Antonio Sam Houston, San Antonio Jefferson and San Antonio Lanier) in 13-5A Division I.
No. 3 Pack Your Bags: San Antonio Southside, San Antonio Southwest and Von Ormy Southwest Legacy opened their packets to an unexpected surprise on Monday. The UIL gave them lengthy 14-5A Division I road trips to Eagle Pass Winn, Laredo Cigarroa, Laredo Martin and Rio Grande City during the 2020 and 2021 football seasons.
UIL 5A Division II
No. 1 Austin Expands Classification Reach: The area landscape will look completely different the next two seasons because eight UIL 5A Division II schools are arriving from a different classification. Austin ISD (Austin Crockett Early College, Austin McCallum, Austin Navarro Early College, Austin Northeast Early College and Austin Travis Early College), Leander Rouse and Pflugerville Connally dropped from 5A Division I, while Liberty Hill moves up from 4A Division I. Bastrop ISD remains in 13-5A Division II with fellow returning members Brenham, Elgin, Georgetown East View and Leander Glenn, and will welcome Leander Rouse and Pflugerville Connally for the next two years. Next up is 14-5A Division II, which will feature the Austin schools, former 13-5A Division II member Marble Falls and former 4A power Liberty Hill.
No. 2 Powers Stay Together: Expect former 14-5A Division II members Alamo Heights, Boerne Champion, Kerrville Tivy, Lockhart and Medina Valley to make more noise. They now have to face returning 15-5A Division II member Floresville, instead of former district mates Edgewood ISD and Uvalde.
Interested in other UIL Realignment coverage? Check out our story about the moves of former 5A Division I members Hutto and Austin LBJ Early College, as well as our realignment discussion on this week's Locker Talk ATX/SATX episode (available to watch on Tuesday or Wednesday.)
For additional sports coverage, follow Thomas (@Texan8thGen) and VYPE (@VYPEATX/@VYPESATX) on Twitter.
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It was an early start to the work week because coaches, ADs and media gathered at 9am on Monday for the 2020-2022 UIL Realignment announcement at Education Service Center Region 13 in Austin. The latest lineups were revealed as attendees flipped through the packets that were handed out to them.
Multiple Austin area schools needed a new home, including former 5A Division I football members Hutto and Austin LBJ Early College. The Hippos had become an all-sports power the last few years and are now joining the state's highest classification.
"We've had to play some good competition in 5A and we know it's going to be the same brand as we move up," said Hutto athletic director and head football coach Brad LaPlante. "But I think just knowing the teams we're going against, week in and week out, we need to be ready, play a high level of ball and certainly build our depth as you play the bigger schools."
Hutto will team up with former 13-6A and Region II members Austin Vandegrift, Cedar Park Vista Ridge, McNeil, Round Rock, Round Rock Cedar Ridge, Round Rock Stony Point and Round Rock Westwood in 25-6A. The North Austin grouping greatly advances the competition level in Region IV and will face the other Austin area 6A district, 26-6A, in the bi-district round of the postseason. The teams will battle former 25-6A competitors Austin High, Austin Akins, Austin Bowie, Del Valle, Hays, Lake Travis and Westlake or returning 26-6A school San Marcos in the opening round of the playoffs. The latter is notable because the Rattlers return to an Austin area group for the first time since the 2016-2018 alignment. If you're lucky enough to get past the first test, you'll play a mix of Central and South Texas squads in the rest of region play.
"There's quite a few going into Region IV," said LaPlante. "When you have new districts and you think playoffs, there's a different frame of mind. Do you want to win district or do you want to make a deep run in the playoffs? Of course, everybody traditionally talks about Region IV having the possibility of making a deep run, so we're just going to go day by day and get our kids ready for some good opponents down the road."
Austin LBJ Early College found similar athletic success by sharing the 12-5A Division I football crown in 2018 and clinching another playoff appearance in 2019, but new Austin ISD school LASA (Liberal Arts and Science Academy) took enough of its student body to drop it down to 4A. It has 4A Division II numbers for football, but opted to compete in 4A Division I the next two seasons. The Jaguars will lean on their past experience against former district tests Dripping Springs and Seguin to get them ready for their new challenges against Burnet, Canyon Lake, Fredericksburg, Lampasas and Taylor in 13-4A Division I action.
"I think the new road is exciting," said Austin LBJ Early College athletic director and head football coach Jahmal Fenner. "When you look at your athletic programs, you always want to put them in the best situation to compete and be successful."
For more sports coverage, follow Thomas (@Texan8thGen) and VYPE (@VYPEATX) on Twitter.