Almost every team in the area will change classifications, but it has little to do with enrollment.
Schools from across the state submitted their snapshot enrollments to the University Interscholastic League on Friday, and, according to various realignment predictions and previous cutoff numbers, most area schools will be retaining their present status despite changing classes.
With the upcoming institution of a new Class 6A, which creates a ripple affect as six-man becomes 1A, 1A becomes 2A and so forth, and the cutoff ranges expected to remain fairly similar to where they are now, the only area schools with a serious potential of moving are Temple and Salado.
The Wildcats turned in an enrollment of 2,049. Based on the fall 2012 through spring 2014 cutoff numbers, Temple would be a 5A team under the future alignment scale.
“I think we’ll probably be on the bubble,” Temple athletic director/head football coach Mike Spradlin said, “but I don’t know.”
While Temple could be remaining the same or moving down, depending on personal viewpoint, Salado might be heading up to 4A based on its enrollment. The Eagles’ 478 students would place the program in 3A under previous cutoff numbers.
“We’re either the smallest 3A or the largest 2A,” Salado athletic director/head football coach Brent Graham said. “We’ve kind of been preparing for this just in case it happened because we’re always close to the cutoff.”
Classification cutoff numbers for the biennial realignment process are typically revealed in February, but the UIL recently informed coaches and administrators it will release the numbers early — perhaps in November.
Regardless of when the information is made public, its arrival is typically greeted with much fanfare as it determines district and regional placement for all UIL schools. Although District 8-5A could be affected, Killeen Independent School District athletic director Tom Rogers feels certain his programs will remain together.
“If someone goes down, it’s going to leave one less team in the district, which means you have to pick up one more nondistrict game,” he said of Temple potentially falling down a classification. “I don’t see (two teams going down). I really believe they might leave us as a six-team district.”
The current cutoff for 5A is 2,090 or more students, which each of KISD’s four schools comfortably clears. Killeen turned in 2,313, while Ellison had 2,652, Shoemaker had 2,271, and Harker Heights had 2,345
Lampasas and Gatesville are both expected to be 4A based on their snapshot enrollments of 1,017 and 788, respectively, while Florence appears to be bound for 3A after submitting an enrollment of 315. Lometa would be a 1A team based on current cutoff numbers after turning in an enrollment of 82.
Enrollment, however, is not the only factor in determining if schools rise or fall in classification. Another major consideration is the number of schools within each classification — something Belton athletic director/head football coach Rodney Southern believes could alter the surrounding landscape.
“The UIL hasn’t shook up this area,” he said. “With a lot of these teams with 4A numbers now … it puts kind of a different perspective on this Central Texas district.”
Belton’s snapshot enrollment was 2,916. Copperas Cove did not have a submitted enrollment to report, but based on its previous enrollment, it would be a 6A program.
Midway will be on the border based on its previous enrollment of 2,127.
“We just have to kind of wait and see what they will do with the cutoff,” Killeen head coach Sam Jones said. “But I think in our district, (we will) see the same schools, just looking at the cutoff number that is projected.”
Albert Alvarado, Brian Bradley and Jordan Mason
contributed to this report.
UIL CONFERENCE CUTOFF NUMBERS
Fall 2012 – Spring 2014
- 5A – 2,090 and larger
- 4A – 1,005 to 2,089
- 3A – 450 to 1,004
- 2A – 200 to 449
- 1A – 199 and smaller
- Six-Man – 99.9 and smaller (for football, basketball and spring meets)
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com