Realignment saved its biggest changes for the area’s smallest schools.

When the University Interscholastic League unveiled the state’s new districts for the upcoming two seasons Monday morning, Class 6A programs remained relatively uninterrupted.

Despite relocating regions, the current District 12-6A will stay intact as District 8-6A in football and will be joined by San Angelo Central in basketball. Meanwhile, Class 4A programs Lampasas and Gatesville endure just minor tweaks to their configurations.

Salado, Florence and Lometa, however, are the exceptions to the trend.

In football, the Eagles, Buffaloes and Hornets will each have all new district opponents beginning next season after being plucked from their present homes.

For Lometa head coach D.T. Torres, the change is good.

“Not to take anything away from the districts we’ve been in because they’ve been really competitive,” he said, “but it will be a good change of scenery and change of pace. It will be interesting to see what these new schools have.”

The Hornets will become part of District 9-1A, Division I next season along with Barksdale Nueces Canyon, Eden and Medina.

While Lometa shifted south to join its new district, Salado will be competing with programs from the north after the UIL placed the Eagles in District 9-4A, Division II with Fairfield, Lorena, Mexia, Robinson and Waco Connally.

Admittedly, new Salado head coach Alan Haire, who does not officially start until Monday, did not expect how things would unfold, but he welcomes the situation.

“It’s hard for me to compare,” he said, “but I know it’s going to be competitive. I don’t think it’s anything we should try to avoid.”

Florence not only changed districts but also dropped divisions, falling into District 13-3A, Division II, joining Blanco, Comfort, Johnson City, Lexington and Rogers though the 2018 season.

Florence athletic director and head football coach Zane Bode hopes the move to Division II will level the playing field.

“It’s not going to make things any easier,” he said. “The competition is still going to be extremely difficult, but we feel like we won’t be playing our big brother any more. We will be playing our brother.”

For the next two years, Class 3A schools have enrollments between 221 and 479 students. Florence turned in an enrollment of 309 students.

“These past few years have been tough,” Bode said. “We desperately need to play some different people, whether it is good, bad or indifferent, just so the kids can get a fresh outlook and new approach.”

Unlike Florence, Lampasas and Gatesville will remain in familiar surroundings as each continues to comprise District 13-4A, Division I with Burnet, China Spring and defending state champion La Vega. The lone alteration comes in the form of perennial power Liberty Hill replacing Robinson.

The Hornets’ and Badgers’ basketball programs also emerged relatively unscathed. The basketball realignment, which is typically similar to the districts established for most spring sports as well, only produced minor changes.

Gatesville will continue to compete in District 17-4A as Hillsboro joins current members China Spring, Lorena, Robinson, Waco Connally and La Vega.

Although it resides in a new region, Lampasas’ and Salado’s future district is almost identical to its current one with Burnet, Liberty Hill, Llano, Taylor and newcomer Leander Glenn forming District 19-4A.

Florence remains in District 25-3A alongside Blanco, Comfort, Georgetown Gateway Prep, Ingram Moore and Lago Vista, but Johnson City will take the place of Jarrell.

13-4A, DIVISION I FOOTBALL

  • Burnet
  • China Spring
  • Gatesville
  • Lampasas
  • Liberty Hill
  • Waco La Vega

9-4A, DIVISION II FOOTBALL

  • Fairfield
  • Lorena
  • Mexia
  • Robinson
  • Salado
  • Waco Connally

17-4A BASKETBALL

  • China Spring
  • Gatesville
  • Hillsboro
  • Lorena
  • Robinson
  • Waco Connally
  • Waco La Vega

19-4A BASKETBALL

  • Burnet
  • Lampasas
  • Leander Glenn
  • Liberty Hill
  • Llano
  • Salado
  • Taylor

13-3A, DIVISION II FOOTBALL

  • Blanco
  • Comfort
  • Florence
  • Johnson City
  • Lexington
  • Rogers

25-3A BASKETBALL

  • Blanco
  • Comfort
  • Florence
  • Georgetown Gateway
  • Ingram Moore
  • Johnson City
  • Lago Vista

9-1A, DIVISION I FOOTBALL

  • Barksdale Nueces Canyon
  • Eden
  • Lometa
  • Medina

19-1A BASKETBALL

  • Blanket
  • Gustine
  • Lometa
  • Mullin
  • Priddy
  • Sidney
  • Zephyr

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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