PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

December 3, 2013

Realignment means big changes in Orange County

ORANGE —  It will be February, 2014 before Southeast Texas schools know what

districts they will be in officially in the University Interscholastic

League’s Realignment but Little Cypress-Mauriceville will be the local school

that should benefit the most after the UIL released its reclassification and

realignment cutoff figures for 2014-2016 Monday.

The Battlin’ Bears will actually not drop a classification. They will stay in

Class 4A since the UIL is creating a new Class 6A.

The Bears will make Class 4A by falling just three students short of being in

Class 5A.

For Class 4A Division I football, enrollment has to be in the 686-1,059 range.

For 4A Division II football, the range is 465-685. Enrollment figures for Class

4A in all other sports is 465-1,059.

“It’s really exciting, looking at the numbers,” said LC-M Athletic

Director Randy Crouch. “It’s more of a level playing ground for us. We’ve

been the ‘small guy’ in our district for so long and this time the numbers

evened out more in our favor.”

Crouch, like everyone else, is curious how the districts will shape up come

February.

The Bears will likely be in a football district that includes Bridge City and

Silsbee. Jasper could also be in the mix. The Bulldogs turned in 686 kids, the

exact number that it takes to be in 4A Division I in football.

“It’s going to be curious what football district we’ll fall in,” said

Crouch. “I’m just guessing, but I think it will be us, Bridge City and

Silsbee for sure. Then, after that, it gets interesting. Jasper could come down

further south with us and teams like Cleveland, Huffman and Splendora could also

be in the mix.”

All other LC-M sports teams will stay closer to home, likely playing in a

district that includes Bridge City, Orangefield, West Orange-Stark, Silsbee,

Hardin-Jefferson and Hamshire-Fannett.

The UIL will still have Division I and Division II state champions in football

only.

The 4A Division II local football district could consist of the likes of

Orangefield, West Orange-Stark, Hamshire-Fannett and Hardin-Jefferson. Buna will

go down to Class 3A Division II in football. Schools like Liberty and Anahuac

could be in the football district with WO-S and Orangefield.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how things shape up come February,”

said Smalley. “Football-wise, the numbers help us out because we were the

second smallest school in our district the last two years with the exception of

Buna,” said Smalley. “I’m pretty sure it will be us, WO-S, H-J and H-F but

the rest will be interesting. It could be Tarkington and Liberty in the mix and

maybe even Coldspring and Anahuac.”

Smalley was happy and apprehensive about the Bears moving down a class.

“It’s a good deal for LC-M because they’ve been battling the numbers game

in 20-4A for awhile now,” said Smalley. “It’s going to be positive for

them. Just look at how good they’ve been in volleyball, baseball and softball

over the years in 4A. Now, think of them competing against schools in those

sports in the upcoming years, they’re going to be really, really good.”

No one will know how the districts will completely shape up until the UIL

releases the new districts, regions, and divisions the first week in February.

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