VYPE Burning Questions- Week of April 18th
In our "Burning Questions" segment we bring you some questions that must be asked, and answered, as we head into the week of Texas High School Sports.
Question 1: Is DFW by far superior when it comes to soccer in Texas High School?
After this weekends dominate performance by DFW area schools in UIL State soccer, winning 4 of the 6 titles, a question that must be asked is not only is DFW superior when it comes to Soccer in Texas High School Soccer, but why. Now this isn't a question that is new when it comes to Texas High School Soccer. It's been a topic of debate when it comes to those that follow the sport for a few years now. Heck, looking back at the last 5 years of UIL soccer play in the girls and boys level out of 30 UIL state final games, 19 have been won by DFW area schools (18 if you don't want to count Kilgore as a DFW area school). But even then that's still DFW winning 2/3 of the time, as they did this past weekend. Austin hadn't seen a boys team win it all until this weekend.
What do I think?
As many have pointed out before me, there are a few factors at play. But of all the factors I think we can look to how club soccer is a dominate force in the DFW area as to why DFW teams dominate the way they do.
- Enrollment has to play a part. Places named above opening HSs all the time, numbers are just above class lines.
- Club is established in DFW, feel like many come and go in other cities, smaller clubs on par with ECNL
Just guesses, coaching is great across TX
— Lethal Enforcer Texas HS Soccer (@LethalSoccer) April 16, 2022
Southlake Carroll's squad was led by a freshman and she looked every bit the best player out there. That comes from having not only a strong club soccer presence in the DFW area, but also allowing them to play HS ball, something some clubs discourage. Add that to the fact that because of that the competition you face by being in the DFW market is by and large better, it's no wonder that DFW squads tend to fair better come playoffs.
Question 2: As spring ball starts, whose one team you're keeping your eye on?
As Texas High School Football gets the chance to participate in Spring ball, one question that must be asked is across the state of Texas what is one team to keep on eye on. Granted their are many teams that come to mind and surely some of those teams will be covered in the coming months as we head into summer, then the season. But when taking multiple things into account, who is one team we should be looking at as we move into Spring Football 2022?
What do I think?
It sounds cliché to talk about them in this way, but for me the one team I'm interested to watch not only in Spring ball but as we get into Football season is Westlake. There are a handful or reasons for this. Firstly because they are under a new Head Coach. Legendary Coach Todd Dodge retired after this past season and left the Head Coaching duties in the hands of longtime Defensive Coordinator Tony Salazar.
This morning’s Eanes ISD School Board Meeting began with the board recognizing the 2021 team and Todd Dodge’s career.
Dr. Tom Leonard then announced that Tony Salazar will be Westlake Football’s next head coach. Join our coverage of today’s press conference at noon. #GoChapspic.twitter.com/ZKoxREqCqH
— WestlakeNation (@Westlake_Nation) January 11, 2022
Salazar, who has been with Westlake with 2014, takes over one of the best programs in the state and will have big shoes to fill. Secondly, just as their legendary Coach has left so has their legendary HS QB. Arguably one of the best Texas High School Quarterbacks of all time, Cade Klubnik left with 3 state championships (2 as a starter) and going undefeated as a starter. Taking his place? Signs point to Paxton Land, who played briefly in a handful of games when Klubnik missed a few games to injury, but will be interesting how that plays out in spring ball. Finally, the quest for the 4 peat. Winning three in a row is impressive enough, but this Westlake squad must know the history that could be made by winning it all again. They key to doing that, figuring some things out in spring ball.
Question 3: Is there a way to fix the lack of parity in HS sports?
Starting in the realm of soccer, but not staying there, with Frisco Wakeland winning their 4th state title in 5 years the question has to be asked; how do we fix the lack of parity in Texas HS Sports. Now this doesn't mean it's true for all sports or all classifications. For instance over the last 7 years when looking at Soccer, Basketball, Softball, Baseball, Volleyball and Football 315 Champions have been crowned. Those 315 Champions have come from 217 Schools. In some instances there is a dominant team that comes to mind. Frisco Wakeland's Boys Soccer, Carthage, North Shore and Westlake Football, Duncanville Boys Basketball, and Nazareth Girls Basketball come to mind. So how doe we fix the same teams making deep runs/winning it all year after year?
What do I think?
There's really not much that can be done. The UIL can only do so much when dealing with over 1,000 of schools and not only how to classify them but how to district them. For instance what if Frisco Wakeland wants to move up to 6A for soccer? What would this do not only for district play for everyone else but for them? Plus if you have teams moving up why wouldn't teams be able to move down? There become to many hurdles the UIL would have to deal with which is why they've always looked at enrollment as the starting grid for classification and then location for district placement.
⚠️ OFFICIAL RELEASE ⚠️
Football Conference and Division Cutoff Numbers for the 2022-2023 & 2023-2024 UIL Reclassification & Realignment
— Texas UIL (@uiltexas) December 8, 2021
Even that isn't a perfect science when you look at districts and enrollment disparities, but it's the best available option. What could potentially help would be the creation of 7A. This will most likely happen in the next 2-3 realignments as it feels like 7A has been picking up steam as of late. Doing this could cause shifts in enrollment numbers that could allow UIL to create classifications that in theory could create more balanced classifications.