CHRIS MOORE — Tougher district opponents will sharpen Titans

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Every two years, the University Interscholastic League redistricts schools, sending fans of Texas high school football into fits.

While these new districts and classifications impact other sports, we know what high school football is in Texas.

While it seems Memorial will gain two good schools in its district, that might not be as bad as it sounds.

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For some schools, the shifts cause more problems than solutions. Nederland and Port Neches-Groves will lose Crosby, who contended for a state title in recent years and Barbers Hill, who has been a contender for the district title in recent years.

However, with those schools’ departure will likely mean longer road trips for the Mid County programs as they lose two of the only 5A Division II schools in a 60-mile radius.

Crosby and Barbers Hill opted to move up to Division I and will likely be placed into Memorial’s district. The Titans have had a fairly strong hold on their league for the last two years, despite sharing the title this past season.

While the Titans had a dominant team with many talented players, they benefitted from playing in a weaker district. The competition, or lack there of, gave them an easy walk to a district title but did not prepare them for the playoffs, which, in part, led to an 0-2 playoff record over the past two seasons.

Now, enter Crosby and Barbers Hill. Memorial played both teams in their non-district schedule this year. Barbers Hill played the Titans close until Memorial scored four times in the final five minutes of play and Crosby beat the Titans.

Memorial is also likely to take a step back with a mass exodus of talented players graduatingm including cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau, quarterback Jah’mar Sanders and defensive end Christian Thomas.

The combination of a rebuilding year along with a tougher schedule could make for a shaky record next season, but it should be expected. Barbers Hill will also undergo a makeover with many key players graduating, but Crosby should return many starters on offense.

Many coaches seem to think Barbers Hill’s time in 5A is limited as areas outside of Houston continue to grow. Memorial Head Coach Brian Morgan said the Eagles will be a 6A school sooner rather than later.

If Crosby and Barbers Hill move in, does that mean there will be teams moved out?

Assuming Memorial isn’t the team moved out, Ball is the furthest, but the UIL could opt to just make a larger district and have fewer non-district games.

Chris Moore is the sports editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at chris.moore@panews.com.