, Port Arthur, Texas


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


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


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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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

    July 21, 2014

  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

    July 19, 2014

  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

    July 15, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog