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New UIL Realignment: Wylie, Cooper & Abilene High headline Big Country movers

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The bi-annual University Interscholastic League realignment took place on Thursday morning at Birdville ISD in Fort Worth, as new districts and classifications for high schools were released.

After classification cutoff numbers were revealed in December, this is when schools find out their district opponents in sports, and academic events for the next two school years, beginning with 2018-2019.

Here are Thursday’s realignment results for schools in Abilene and throughout the Big Country:

Notable Abilene changes begin in Class 6A.

The ABILENE HIGH EAGLES will have a new look in District 3-6A and stay moving east with the addition of former foe San Angelo Central. The rest of the seven-team district for AHS includes Euless Trinity, Haltom City, Hurst Bell, North Richland Hills Richland and Weatherford.

"There was some shake ups down there at the realignment meeting, but we're excited about our new district and getting into it," said Eagles coach Del Van Cox. "Euless was in the 4th round last year, and so was Richland. Of course you've also got Central -- so we're not by ourselves from the west out here anymore. So we're very, very familiar with those guys."

In Class 5A, football was split into divisions this season, with the ABILENE COOPER COUGARS moving to Division I. The Coogs will move to District 2-5A DI, where they'll retain former district rivals Lubbock High, Lubbock Monterey, and Lubbock Coronado, but add three Amarillo programs to the new district -- Amarillo High, Amarillo Caprock, and Amarillo Palo Duro.

"Our district is going to be very, very tough with some teams we are familiar with," said Cooper coach Todd Moebes. "And then our non-district is going to be very tough to get us prepared for it. Monterey and Coronado got us last year, and they're going to be very, very strong again with as many returners as they have coming back. You know we've played Amarillo Caprock a few years back in the bi-district round, so it's going to be a challenge every single week."

For all other sports, Cooper will keep in district 4-5A, with the long-awaited arrival of the Wylie Bulldogs who will join them in the same district. Both Cooper and Wylie will face off in basketball, volleyball, baseball, and other programs, while also getting district opponents in Aledo, Granbury, Wichita Falls, and Wichita Falls Rider.

The WYLIE BULLDOGS’ move to 5A DII for football, taking them to District 3-5A DII, where Hugh Sandifer's team will make a lot of trips north and northeast. The Bulldogs have already planned on playing Abilene Cooper in non-district, which is slated for week 4 of the season, and will see their district slate include Canyon Randall, Lubbock Cooper, Plainview, Wichita Falls and Wichita Falls Rider.

To class 4A and Division I, the BROWNWOOD LIONS have quite the challenge ahead. Kyle Maxfield's team, the lone area program in DI, jumps to district 5-4A DI, with big-time opponents in China Spring, Waco La Vega, Stephenville, and Gatesville.

The Lions will be in 7-4A for all other activities, with district opponents including Glen Rose, Godley, Mineral Wells, and Stephenville.

In Class 4A DII for football, the rivals are back. SWEETWATER MUSTANGS and SNYDER TIGERS will take their rivalry to the district level as members of district 1-4A DII. Joining them will be Fort Stockton, Lamesa, Pecos, Monahans, and Midland Greenwood.

In all other sports, the two remain together but in district 5-4A, with the likes of Big Spring, San Angelo Lake View, and Midland Greenwood.

To class 3A, a host of changes were expected after classification move-ups for area schools.

For Division II of football, the ANSON TIGERS will begin its first season in 3A in district 4-3A DII with CISCO LOBOES, COLEMAN BLUECATS, BANGS DRAGONS, and drop-downs MERKEL BADGERS and BALLINGER BEARCATS. San Angelo Grape Creek and San Angelo TLC Academy round-out the large district for football.

"We've traveled a little bit to Post and to Forsan the last couple of years, but this year -- we're going to Merkel which is a rock's throw away," said head coach Chris Hagler. "Cisco is just over an hour -- so it's alright, we're lucky in that regard too you know? Could be worse."

Also, in Division II of 3A district 2 will see the COLORADO CITY WOLVES once again by themselves, in a district with Abernathy, the COAHOMA BULLDOGS, Lubbock Roosevelt, Idalou, and Stanton.

Finally, district 6-3A DII will include our far area residents of both the COMANCHE INDIANS, and DUBLIN LIONS, in addition to Millsap, Rio Vista, Tolar, and Jacksboro.

Class 3A Division I football will keep Big Country programs in one district. The move-up from DII for the EASTLAND MAVERICKS, mean's they'll join a stacked district 3-3A DI with the BRECKENRIDGE BUCKAROOS, CLYDE BULLDOGS, EARLY LONGHORNS, JIM NED INDIANS, and Wall.

Staying in class 2A Division II are a few area programs that will consist of district 7-2A DII. The ALBANY LIONS, CROSS PLAINS BUFFALOES, and BAIRD BEARS will re-unite after 2 seasons in district 6. Joining them in district 7 are the HASKELL INDIANS, ROSCOE PLOWBOYS, HAMLIN PIED PIPERS , and ROBY LIONS -- the previous three having been in the same district last season.

The MUNDAY MOGULS are split up from Haskell this realignment, heading to district 5-2A DII with the likes of Memphis, Quannah, Wellington, Wheeler, and Shamrock. While in district 6-2A DII, the RANGER BULLDOGS will be the lone area team again heading northeast, as they will face Archer City, Electra, Petrolia, Santo, and Windthorst.

In 2A Division I, the WINTERS BLIZZARDS moved up a division this realignment, joining the HAWLEY BEARCATS, STAMFORD BULLDOGS, Forsan, and Ozona in district 3-2A DI. Will be a lot of travel for those teams as Ozona sits some 200+ miles from Stamford.

Finally, six-man football also features some changes to district slates for the next two seasons. Below are the district pairings featuring area teams.

Division I:

3-1A DI: KNOX CITY GREYHOUNDS, Chillicothe, Paducah, Crowell, and Vernon North-side.

4-1A DI: IRA BULLDOGS, HERMLEIGH CARDINALS, ASPERMONT HORNETS, ROTAN YELLOWHAMMERS, and Spur.

8-1A DI: ROSCOE HIGHLAND HORNETS, WESTBROOK WILDCATS, Water Valley, Sterling City, and Garden City.

13-1A DI: BRONTE LONGHORNS, ROBERT LEE STEERS, Veribest, Eden, and Paint Rock

14-1A DI: GORMAN PANTHERS, MAY TIGERS, SANTA ANNA MOUNTAINEERS, and Lingleville.

15-1A DI: Evant, Jonesboro, Lometa, and ZEPHYR BULLDOGS

Division II:

6-1A DII: BLACKWELL HORNETS, LORAINE BULLDOGS, MORAN BULLDOGS, and TRENT GORILLAS

7-1A DII: Guthrie, PAINT CREEK PIRATES, JAYTON JAYBIRDS, LUEDERS-AVOCA RAIDERS, and Rhule

8-1A DII: BENJAMIN MUSTANGS, Harrold, THROCKMORTON GREYHOUNDS, Woodson

10-1A DII: STRAWN GREYHOUNDS, Gordon, Gustine, and Bluff Dale

15-1A DII: BLANKET TIGERS, MULLIN BULLDOGS, RISING STAR WILDCATS, Brookesmith, and Sidney

KTXS will continue to update information as it becomes available.



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