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
Protecting their home turf
After finishing the first day of the Mineral Wells Tournament a perfect 3-0, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams (15-4) were back in action Friday with a double-header to close out the home portion of the tourney.
Rams shine at Brock Tournament
BROCK – The Mineral Wells Rams (9-6) had a strong showing at the Brock Tournament, Thursday and Friday, as they continued to lay a firm foundation for the rest of their season.
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Weathering the storm
The 2013-14 season epitomized growth for the Mineral Wells Rams basketball team. Under the tutelage of head coach Aaron Pappas, the Rams played to a 6-4 record in District 6-3A, clinching a third place finish and a fourth-straight playoff appearance.
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