See new football, volleyball & basketball districts: Titans, Timberwolves officially rivals

Published 11:06 am Monday, February 3, 2020

The next time Port Arthur Memorial and Beaumont United face off in football, the stakes will be higher than just bragging rights in an inner-county rivalry.

The University Interscholastic League on Monday officially released its football district realignments for the cycle starting this August and ending in the summer of 2022, as well as basketball and volleyball districts for the 2020-21 school year.

Memorial coach Brian Morgan expects his team and United to face off in Week 8 the next two football seasons, adding schedules will not become official until Feb. 25.

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“To be honest with you, it’s another one of the seven games on the district schedule,” Morgan said. “The United game is no different than the Friendswood, La Porte or Galveston Ball game.”

District 9-5A-I for football is taking on an overhauled look the next two football seasons, as PA Memorial and Goose Creek Memorial remain but Ball, Baytown Lee, Baytown Sterling, Beaumont United, Friendswood and La Porte move in. New Caney and Porter are moving up to 20-6A, Galena Park and Houston Austin are sent down to 11-5A-II, Kingwood Park will head to 12-5A-II and Houston Wisdom is moving over to 10-5A-I. GCM, Sterling and Lee are the three traditional high schools in the Goose Creek Consolidated ISD.

PA Memorial will have a fellow Jefferson County team in its football district for the first time since the fall of 2017, when football districts did not yet split into Divisions I and II and the Titans rivaled with Nederland and Port Neches-Groves.

Beaumont United, established in the summer of 2018 as a merger of Central and Ozen high schools, is dropping from District 21-6A, where the Timberwolves were rivals of inner-Beaumont ISD competitor West Brook.

Outside of Jefferson County, Morgan said he has no complaints with the travel that is required in 9-5A-I.

“I don’t really have a choice in anything,” he said. “It’s something we can’t control. I don’t worry about it too much. Those are the seven teams we play. We’re way out to the east of most of 5A Division I schools. Travel is going to be part of life. There’s no reason to complain about something you can’t control.”

District 21-5A will remain the same for basketball and volleyball: Barbers Hill, Beaumont United, Crosby, Galena Park, Nederland, PA Memorial and PNG. United, Crosby and Galena Park replace Cleveland, Dayton and Vidor.

District 12-5A Division in football will see a slight change, as Kingwood Park moves in from 9-5A-I and Texas City joins the league, replacing Vidor and Lee. Nederland and PNG will continue their rivalry in 12-5A-II, which also includes Barbers Hill, Crosby, Dayton and Santa Fe.

Sabine Pass is expected to return to UIL football competition and is assigned again to 12-2A-II. The Sharks spent the 2019 season playing an independent schedule, as a lack of players forced them to cancel the rest of the 2018 season after the second week.

The independent schedule, which saw some teams having to drop because of low numbers or overbooking, did not benefit Sabine Pass, coach Jason Thibodeaux said.

“I’m pleased with the district we’re in,” he said. “The district is going to be competitive, and I’m ready to get back into UIL.”

District 25-2A for basketball will be Deweyville, Evadale, Hull-Daisetta, Sabine Pass and West Hardin. Burkeville, High Island and Spurger will join those five schools for 24-2A volleyball.

Districts for other sports will be released next month, according to UIL spokesperson Logan Lawrence.

“With basketball and volleyball, it’s a double round-robin schedule and things are more fluid, whereas in football it’s home one year and away the next,” Lawrence said, when asked why basketball and volleyball districts are for one year and football districts two years. “It’s not saying that it’s going to be realigned.”


(Jefferson County teams in BOLD)

 Football (2020-22 cycle)

  • 21-6A: West Brook, North Shore, Humble, Atascocita, Kingwood, Summer Creek, Sheldon C.E. King
  • 9-5A-I: Port Arthur Memorial, Beaumont United, Goose Creek Memorial, Baytown Lee, Baytown Sterling, Friendswood, Galveston Ball, La Porte
  • 10-4A-I: Huffman Hargrave, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Livingston, Lumberton, Splendora, Vidor
  • 11-4A-II: Bridge City, Hamshire-Fannett, Hardin-Jefferson, Liberty, Orangefield, Silsbee, West Orange-Stark
  • 12-2A-II: Sabine Pass, Burkeville, Deweyville, Evadale, High Island, Hull-Daisetta

Basketball (2020-21 school year)

*—also the volleyball alignment

  • *21-5A: PA Memorial, Barbers Hill, Beaumont United, Crosby, Galena Park, Nederland, Port Neches-Groves
  • *22-4A: Bridge City, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Lumberton, Orangefield, Silsbee, Vidor, West Orange-Stark
  • 25-2A: Sabine Pass, Deweyville, Evadale, Hull-Daisetta, West Hardin

Volleyball only (2020-21 school year)

  • 24-2A: Sabine Pass, Burkeville, Deweyville, Evadale, High Island, Hull-Daisetta, Spurger, West Hardin

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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