Realignment day brought changes to the district competition for the Killeen Independent School District and the surrounding schools for the 2018-2020 seasons in softball, volleyball and basketball.
Next school year, Temple and Waco will join the four KISD schools, Copperas Cove, Belton and Waco Midway in Region II and the new District 12-6A. With nine schools, it’s the largest district ever implemented in Central Texas.
The other notable change was the absence of San Angelo Central, which was a member of the Central Texas league in nonfootball sports basketball, soccer, baseball and softball.
The Bobcat programs were rerouted toward Fort Worth.
“God bless them, but they shouldn’t have been in the district,” Killeen boys basketball head coach Reggie Huggins said.
Huggins has no problem welcoming old rivals Temple and Waco to District 12-6A.
“The two teams coming into district, we’ve played before, we’ve won,” he said. “So, if you want to go from a selfish point ... it might be good for us because we’ve beaten them here recently.
“But district play is a whole lot different than nondistrict games.”
Copperas Cove volleyball coach Cari Lowery was pleased with the move from Region I to Region II.
In the last six to eight years the state champion has come out of Region I, according to Lowery, and she hopes being in a new region will allow local teams to have a better chance at making longer runs in the playoffs.
“I’m happy that we are in Region II,” she said. “It’s a better fit for us in this district.”
With all nine teams fairly close, travel time for road games will be cut down significantly, which Huggins believes will have a positive impact on home games.
“It’ll be different, crowds will be better,” he said, “More people will be able to go to different games to see everybody play, so it’ll be interesting.”
Most coaches are happy with where KISD fell in realignment, but with more teams in the district comes adjusting to a new schedule.
And for Lowery’s volleyball team, 16 league games instead of 12.
“That makes district considerably longer and eliminates the preseason,” she said. “We’re starting district before school even starts.
“You have to be serious and ready to go before you come in August because there’s no time, it’s on.”
Huggins said his players were happy with the change in adding Temple and Waco.
“All the kids know each other, all the parents know each other so it’s just something fun for them to play against each other.”
With the odd number of teams creating a bye in the schedule, Huggins knows it will take some getting used to.
“Hopefully for you, your bye is at the right time, as it can really be helpful because you can go scout and do different things.”
Huggins believes overall the University Interscholastic League got it right this time with realignment.
“For us old, nostalgic people, it brings the district back together like it used to be a long, long time ago.”