Monday was a “mad-house day” for Coach Gerald Perry as it was for most football coaches across the state as the University Interscholastic League released the 2020-22 district realignment for athletic competition.
Every two years, the event draws the attention of high school football fans across the state as coaches gather at areas like the Birdville ISD athletic complex to sort out football schedules.
Part of that chore has already been taken care of by Perry, and his unofficial preseason schedule has the Rams matching up against a familiar lineup of foes from last season to include scrimmages against Springtown and Breckenridge and regular-season games against Benbrook, Castleberry, Gainesville, Boyd, FW Western Hills and Glen Rose.
Mineral Wells knew it was getting a new district because the Rams’ attendance numbers had the school dropping from 4-A D1 to 4-A D2, and there had been the standard speculation by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine and the Padilla Poll.
Padilla predicted District 3 would include six teams, and the Rams would end up facing Aubrey, Bridgeport, Graham, Krum and Sanger.
Instead, District 3 will be a five-team league and includes Mineral Wells, Bridgeport, Graham, Iowa Park and Vernon.
All that preseason predicting is often watched closely by coaches and can lead the issues when establishing a possible schedule. Mineral Wells has played nine regular-season games each of the past two years, and there are two schools of thought regarding have two bye-weeks in a season.
Playing nine games gives more time for healing if there are injuries, while the opposite side of the scale worries about teams losing their edge and rusting.
Before the realignment announcement Monday, Perry had penned in Benbrook, Castleberry, Gainesville, FW Northside and FW Western Hills into his schedule. The addition of Glen Rose didn’t come around until after the alignment, and those first few minutes after the realignment is announced is much like the closing-bell scramble at the New York Stock Exchange.
Phones start going off, and assistants start pounding away at their phone screens looking for confirmation or any last second changes. Most changes come about due to a school not landing in the predicted district. Remember the Padilla Poll’s prediction was only half right about which teams would be in District 3 and was wrong as to the number of schools included in league play.
Minerl Wells volleyball is also seeing some big changes and the Lady Rams have the same district as football (5-4A) opponents with one add-on in the form of WF Hirschi opponents.
Around the Area
Strawn and Gordon’s district rivalry is safe, and the league has a newcomer with Three-Way School joining the two six-man powerhouses along with Gustine and Bluffdale.
Millsap’s schedule didn’t get any easier as they remain in district play with Comanche, Dublin, and Jacksboro while adding Eastland and Merkel to the mix.
Santo is still looking to “End The Streak,” where the Wildcats haven’t won a district title in more than a quarter-century, and they will get new hunting grounds to try and accomplish the feat.
The Wildcats league slate includes Albany, Hico, Meridian, Ranger and Cross Plains.
Perrin’s Pirates’ third year at the six-man level keeps them looking for wins against Bryson, Newcastle and Saint Jo. The new fly in the ointment is TLC-Arlington.
District 5-4A Volleyball
Mineral Wells, Burkburnett, Graham, Iowa Park, Vernon and WF Hirschi.