By TONY EIERDAM
When the University Interscholastic League releases its reclassification and redistricting information on all Texas public high schools in February, Mineral Wells High School will once again be classified in a 4A district.
But all is not what it appears.
On Monday, the UIL released the classification cutoff numbers for the 2014-16 reclassification and realignment.
Although everything appears different, it is really the same.
The UIL will add a Class 6A, but what that really means are schools designated today as Class 5A schools will bump up to Class 6A, if their enrollment numbers fall above 2,100 students.
What the UIL is really doing is eliminating the term “Conference Six Man” by bumping every classification up one notch, providing the enrollment numbers fit inside the new cutoff numbers.
Now “six man,” or schools below 105 students, will be referred to as “Class A.”
Mineral Wells, which turned in 904 students, will be “bumped” to Class 4A, but a new twist has been added to the new Class 4A and Class 3A alignments.
Beginning with the new realignment, 4A and 3A districts will now be split into “big” school (Division I) and “small” school (Division II) districts with each district competing for separate state championships.
In the past in 4A and 3A, football teams making the playoffs would be split into the two divisions as each classification played for two state championships.
The new rule will split the schools into the two divisions for district play and the schools will play in “Division I” and “Division II” districts.
In the new Class 4A, schools with enrollments no larger than 465 and no less than 685 will play in Division II districts, while 4A schools like Mineral Wells – whose student enrollment is larger than 686 students but no more than 1,059 students – will be placed in Division I districts.
The new districts will not be made available by the UIL until Feb. 3.
MWISD Athletic Director Chuck Lawrence feels the plan is good in theory, but added it could come with a set of problems as well.
“On paper, I like the idea,” Lawrence said.”We knew all along that Mineral Wells would be in 4A, but at least now we know what division we will be in.
“Again, this idea seems sound on paper, but I think it may cause some travel problems like we see in the lower classes.”
Indeed. When Conference Six Man split into two divisions, Palo Pinto County schools Gordon and Strawn – just seven miles apart – were put in separate divisions which means not only do they not play each other in district play, but will never face each other in the playoffs, either.
In Classes 5A and 6A the football playoff format will remain the same as the teams will be put into Division I and Division II brackets following regular season play.
As far as what district Mineral Wells High School will be put in, realize that Graham (960 students), Burkburnett (928), Abilene Wylie (1,003), Alvarado (982) and Stephenville (996) are schools near the area with similar enrollment numbers.
“We will have to wait until February to find out what district we will be placed in,” Lawrence said.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Swimming to State