By CLINT FOSTER
High School realignment is in the air again.
With the news of new classification numbers fresh off the presses, another round of UIL redistricting is fast approaching when schools will discover who their new district rivals will be for the next two years.
With an enrollment of 904, Mineral Wells High School will be placed in Class 4A Division I beginning next year.
But the Ram faithful won’t know for sure who they will be playing until the UIL announces the new districts on Feb. 3.
Mineral Wells ISD Athletic Director and MWHS head football coach Chuck Lawrence offered his prediction of whom the Rams might square off against in district play in 2014 at the MWISD School Board meeting, Tuesday night.
Lawrence foresees a district including Graham, Springtown, Decatur, Burkburnett, Hirschi and, of course, the Rams of Mineral Wells. He acknowledged he has no inside information of any kind, but merely considers this the most likely scenario “when you look at the map.”
A district including these six programs would undoubtedly be extremely competitive and present a significant challenge every year, especially in football. However, the Rams are no strangers to any of these five potential opponents.
Mineral Wells played – and lost – to Graham, Hirschi, Burkburnett and Springtown this past season, with Springtown as the only foe from District 6-3A.
Graham and Hirschi were tough back-to-back losses to open the season, with scores of 51-7 and 68-0 respectively, but the Rams played well against Burkburnett, 24-8, and Springtown, 35-19, and had legitimate chances to win both games.
The Rams last squared off against Decatur as a district opponent during the 2011 season in District 7-3A.
All five of Lawrence’s predicted district mates for Mineral Wells enjoyed playoff runs this season.
Burkburnett and Hirschi lost in the first round of the Class 3A Division I playoffs with Springtown – who beat Hirschi in the first round – losing in the second round. Decatur had the longest run in this bracket, advancing to the third round behind quarterback and TCU commit Grayson Muehlstein, before losing to Chapel Hill, 55-40.
A perennial contender, Graham is still enjoying this season. The undefeated Steers have thrived this year thanks to a prolific offense captained by senior quarterback Ben Davis and a stingy defense. Graham will face Argyle in the Class 3A Division II Semifinals this weekend.