On the Move: Shadow Creek, Willis Grand Oaks, Tomball move to 6A; La Porte, Baytown Sterling move down
HOUSTON – Shadow Creek is officially done in Class 5A.
Moving into the 2020-2022 UIL Realignment, which will take place on February 3, the Sharks will be placed for the first time in school history into a Class 6A district.
On Tuesday, the UIL released their cutoff numbers for the next round of realignment, with Class 6A's cutoff being at 2,200 and above.
According to a report on the UIL website, Shadow Creek turned in a number of 2,673.5 back in October on "Snapshot Day" – the day where the school's attendance is taken and given to the UIL for this very purpose.
Today, Shadow Creek is officially 474.5 students over the cutline.
Since moving into 5A for football during the last realignment, Shadow Creek, which played its first two seasons independently, has thrived.
The Sharks have won back-to-back district championships, played in the Class 5A Division I State Championship game last year against Highland Park and is facing Manor this weekend in the State Quarterfinals. Since the games officially started counting for Shadow Creek, the Sharks are an amazing 28-1 overall.
But Shadow Creek isn't the only program on the move.
Conroe ISD's newest school Grand Oaks will make the jump from 5A to 6A as well. The school nestled off the 99 Grand Parkway in North Houston saw its numbers balloon to 2,812.95.
At February's realignment, the Grizzlies' football team will find out its first-ever district. Grand Oaks has spent the past two years playing an independent schedule, just like Shadow Creek.
The Grizzlies went 6-4 this year and 7-3 in 2018, playing a schedule mostly filled with private school teams. The Grand Oaks volleyball team did compete in 5A, with this past season being its best winning the District 20-5A Championship with a 17-1 mark in district play.
It will be interesting where they could be placed. Being a 6A program pushes them up there with the rest of the Conroe ISD programs, which for the last two years resided in District 15-6A with Klein ISD schools.
If Grand Oaks is added to that grouping that would give that district 10 programs. So, a preliminary thought is the five Conroe ISD schools could be realigned back with the four Humble ISD schools to make a nine-team district.
Prior to the last realignment, Conroe ISD and Humble ISD programs did play against each other, while Klein ISD programs were with Spring Branch ISD schools. In the last realignment though, Spring Branch ISD schools got paired with Cy-Fair ISD programs in District 17-6A when Cy-Fair ISD split its programs into two different districts for the first time.
But we will see, you never know what will happen on realignment day.
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Conference cutoff numbers for the 2020-21 & 2021-22 UIL Reclassification & Realignment.
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Tomball is another area of Houston that has seen exponential growth, especially with the building of the 249 Tollway a few years ago. The growth pushed Tomball Memorial into Class 6A in the 2018 realignment.
Now, Tomball High School will join them.
Tomball turned in a number of 2,448 for its enrollment officially pushing it into Class 6A. Tomball Memorials' was 2,543.5.
This, along with Willis making the jump from 5A to 6A, by a mere four students (2,223), will shake up what has been a very fun District 8-5A-DI to watch. With the exit of Tomball and Willis that will be interesting as it leaves Lufkin, College Station, Magnolia, Magnolia West, Waller and Caney Creek.
Katy Paetow moving up to Class 5A DI could be a candidate to slide over and take one of those spots vacated by Tomball and Willis.
Another move up is Fulshear going from Class 4A to 5A Division II.
The Chargers are just weeks removed from winning the program's first-ever volleyball state championship. Fulshear has also excelled in tennis and wrestling in the short time it has been open.
Other notable moves include Baytown Sterling moving from 6A down to 5A DI, while La Porte moves from 6A all the way down to 5A DII and new school Katy Jordan will be in 5A but won't play football during the 2020 or 2021 seasons in a UIL district.
The strength of District 13-6A volleyball showed through this past Monday and Tuesday as the four 13-6A qualifiers (Westwood, Vandegrift, Vista Ridge and Round Rock) all won their bi-district matchups.
However, the strength of Houston-area District 15-6A shined through Thursday night as second-ranked The Woodlands swept Vista Ridge in three sets while 14th-ranked Klein upended Round Rock in four sets.
Teri Wade's Highlanders weren't challenged much by an up-and-coming Vista Ridge team coached by Holly Lamb. The Woodlands (46-4 overall) swept Vista Ridge (26-20) in straight sets (25-12, 25-18, 25-12) at Brenham High School.
"We always get everyone's best (game), but I'm proud of the girls in staying consistent tonight," stated Wade, who's in her fifth year at the school; she's taken the Highlanders to the Regional Tournament four straight years. "Vista Ridge put up a good fight tonight; they are coached very well and they played well together."
Senior Dylan Maberry slammed a match-high 14 kills and added four total blocks and 15 digs.. Fellow senior Amanda Ifeanyi was all over the court, tallying 11 kills, serving up one ace, making two digs and making one total block.
Junior setter Clara Brower dished out 33 assists, made 10 digs and punched through four kills while senior libero Allie Griffith dug out 10 balls.
The Rangers lose four seniors – Ashley Anderson, Izzy Burratto, Ryanne Johnson and Molly Mastronardt – but will return nine juniors, one sophomore and one freshman to a deep squad next season.
"I'm extremely proud of my team this season," Lamb said afterwards. "We showed tremendous growth throughout the year. The Woodlands is a very good team but I thought our girls fought hard.
The Rangers did have eight players with at least one kill, led by junior Ava Dahl with four and Katelyn Kreinke with three.
"I'm proud of our seniors. Their sophomore year, our program won just six matches. Last year we finished second in district and this year, we made it to the area round. Their work ethic has laid a great foundation for this program moving forward."
Meantime the Round Rock Dragons rallied from a two-game deficit against Klein and broke through for a 25-20 win in Game 3. The Dragons then took a 13-9 lead in Game 4 before a 5-1 scoring run got Klein to within one, 15-14. Later, with the game tied at 18-18, Kate Zora's Bearkats ran off a 3-0 run, leading 21-18. They were able to match Round Rock point-for-point in closing out the match, 25-21.
"This is the largest group of seniors (13) in Round Rock history," Watson declared. "They are one of the hardest-working, supportive group of seniors with which I've had the pleasure of working.
"Their presence will be missed by the coaching staff, as well as their peers."
Senior Lauren Malone finished her illustrious 3-year varsity career at Round Rock with 12 kills. Fellow senior Sarah Keilen added 17 assists, three kills and two aces. Senior Joley Plummer chipped in with two kills and two aces.
The Bearkats used seven aces and six team blocks to power past Round Rock.
Kierstyn McFall made two blocks, had an ace and six digs while dunking 11 kills past the Dragons. Other Klein contributors included Annie Antar (match-high 15 kills, 22 assists, seven digs, one block and one ace); Devan Taylor (match-high 25 digs, 12 kills, one ace and one block) Ariana Brown (six kills, four digs, two aces and one block), Mikayla Simpson (seven kills) and Camy King (23 assists and 10 digs).
Elsewhere Thursday, Cedar Park (24-21) continued its emerging season under first-year coach Lori McLaughlin as the Timberwolves smoked highly-favored Grand Oaks of Houston (37-11) in three sets, 25-20, 27-25 and 25-20.
CPHS Senior Jaelyn Grimm and juniors Avery Cole and Abbi Lemmond each had seven kills, while sophomore Kate Alex slammed six. Cole added four aces and four total blocks and senior Olivia Meyer dished out 31 assists for Cedar Park, who awaits the winner of Friday's College Station/Georgetown East View match for next week's Region III quarterfinals.