Aaron Nuckles can relate to countless Texas high school football coaches. Realignment threw him a curveball.
In his third season as Lometa head boys basketball coach, Nuckles was fully prepared to move into a new district and a new region when the University Interscholastic League revealed its statewide realignment Monday morning.
Things did not materialize as expected, however, leaving Nuckles scrambling.
“It is kind of a shock,” he said. “I messed up my schedule. I was planning on getting some of our district opponents from this year as nondistrict opponents next year because I thought we were headed north. I thought we would be in Region III with Priddy and Zephyr and some of those teams. I’ve got to find some nondistrict games now.”
Instead of being revamped, the Hornets’ district remained virtually intact with basically only the name changing.
Lometa basketball will continue to compete in Region IV as a member of District 25-1A along with current District 28-1A, Division II opponents Cranfills Gap, Evant, Jonesboro and Oglesby. Cherokee is the lone change among the collection of teams, replacing Star.
Despite being stunned by the lack of transformation, Nuckles is pleased with how things worked out.
“As far as the district goes, I think it is really nice,” he said. “We already know everyone and the only surprise is Cherokee being new to the district, but we played them last year, and before that, they were in our district. So, I’m feeling pretty good about it. I like how things ended up.”
Although little will change for the No. 19 Hornets, Lometa’s football team experienced a slightly more significant shakeup.
After spending the past two season competing in a five-team district, Lometa will reside in District 11-1A, Division I with only three other teams — current district opponents Santa Anna and Zephyr along with Evant, which replaces May and Rochelle.
Due to the addition of Class 6A, the new Class 1A is comprised entirely of six-man football teams.
While the football team loses one opponent in the process, the Lady Hornets’ basketball team gains two district games with the realignment.
Star, which currently resides in Lometa’s district, does not have a girls basketball team, but new addition Cherokee does.
“It has its pros and cons,” Lady Hornets head coach Marcus Chapa said. “It is bad because we don’t have that open, bye date, so I’m not able to scout the competition, but we gained another two games in district and that prepares my girls for a playoff run next year.”
25-1A BASKETBALL AND ENROLLMENTS
Cranfills Gap 30