UIL cutoffs announced, leaving districts wondering where they’ll be


The University Interscholastic League announced the official realignment and reclassification cutoffs for all six divisions on Friday, Dec. 8, telling every member school in the state what conference they will be playing in for the 2024-26 biennium.

While there is no surprise for Gonzales High School that it will again be in 4A or for Nixon-Smiley that it will again be in 3A, there could be some trickle-down impact on both schools, especially when it comes to their alignment for high school football.

According to the numbers released by UIL, schools with an enrollment of 2,275 and above will be in Class 6A — a total of 247 schools. Those with enrollment between 1,315 students and 2,274 will be in 5A, a total of 253 schools. Schools with an enrollment of between 545-1,314, which includes Gonzales, will be in Class 4A, the second-smallest classification in terms of number of members with 218 schools.

Schools with 254-544 students, like Nixon-Smiley, will be in Class 3A, which includes 231 schools. Those with 105-253 will be in Class 2A, which includes 226 schools, while those with 104.9 students and below will be in Class 1A, with a total of 216 schools.

Football is broken further down into divisions in Classes 5A-1A so that schools do not play anyone in district with more than twice their own enrollment. Gonzales will be in Division 4A-2, comprised of schools with 545-956 students, which is the third-smallest division in terms of number of member schools with a total of 94.

Meanwhile, Nixon-Smiley will be in Division 3A-2, comprised of schools with 254-368 students which will have 100 member schools.

According to the information released Friday, Dec. 8 by UIL, there are a total of 22 schools which will be new to 4A-2 in 2024. These include Athens, Bonham, Brock, Burkburnett, China Spring, Dallas Hutchins, Eagle Mountain, San Antonio Memorial, Fort Worth Dunbar, Harmony Innovation, Katy Harmony, Kemp, Kingsville King, La Feria, La Vega, Lorena, Lubbock Cooper Liberty, Lubbock Estacado, Mineral Wells, Rockport-Fulton, Shepherd and Cleveland Tarkington.

Another 21 schools will be leaving 4A-2, including Clint, Clint Mountain View, Fabens, Pecos, Canyon West Plains, Sweetwater, Wichita Falls Hirschi (turned into middle school), Dallas Lincoln, Dallas Roosevelt, Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, Bridge City, Hardin-Jefferson, Liberty, Austin Achieve, Manor New Tech, SA Young Men’s Leadership, Corpus Christi West Oso, Orange Grove, Bishop and Raymondville.

The last seven of those are all in Region 4, which was already the smallest of the four regions with just 20 schools. Rockport-Fulton will likely move into District 15, which will keep Ingleside, Sinton and Robstown, while La Feria and Kingsville King would likely move into District 16 with Port Isabel and Rio Grande City Grulla. District 14 would likely take in San Antonio Memorial to replace San Antonio Young Men’s Leadership. Meanwhile, District 13 would still have Geronimo Navarro, Jarrell, Lago Vista and Wimberley without Austin Achieve or Manor New Tech.

Gonzales is currently in Region 3 in District 12 with Caldwell, Cuero, Giddings, La Grange and Smithville. There has been scuttlebutt that Gonzales and/or Cuero could move to District 15 to help shore up the Sinton, Ingleside and Robstown district, but it would not be immediately apparent what would become of District 12 in that scenario nor does it make sense to break up a tidy district.

In District 9, Cleveland Tarkington and Shepherd could offset the loss of Bridge City, Hardin-Jefferson and Liberty, while Harmony Innovation and Katy Harmony appear to best fit District 10, which retained all of its schools (Bellville, La Marque, Royal, Sealy, Sweeny, West Columbia and Wharton.

In District 11, La Vega, China Spring and Lorena would be a natural fit for a district with Gatesville, Madisonville, Robinson and Waco Connally.

If the UIL wants to offset losses in Region 4, they could move Salado to District 13 due to its proximity to Jarrell. If Cuero and Gonzales are moved to District 15 to join Ingleside, Sinton, Robstown and Rockport Fulton, then UIL would likely overhaul District 10 to be La Marque, Sweeny, West Columbia, Wharton, Harmony Innovation and Harmony; District 11 to be La Vega, China Spring, Lorena, Gatesville, Robinson, Madisonville and Waco Connally; and District 12 to be Caldwell, Giddings, La Grange, Smithville, Bellville, Sealy and Brookshire Royal. This would allow there to be balance in Region 3 and preserve 20 teams in Region 4.

Of course, nothing is official until February, when the UIL will announce its official and final realignment.

In 3A-2, there will be 13 new teams joining the ranks, including Anthony, Blanco, Cotulla, Dallas Gateway, Vanderbilt Industrial, Inspired Vision Dallas, Muleshoe, San Antonio Young Men’s Leadership Academy, Slaton, Stockdale, Thrall, Tolar and Woodville. Leaving 3A-2 will be Ballinger, San Angelo Texas Leadership, Spearman, Abernathy, Comanche, Mildred, Palmer, Omaha Pewitt, Elysian Fields, Waskom, Hemphill, Florence, Danbury and South San Antonio West — 14 schools.

It is easy to place schools in Regions 1-3, but the biggest issue will be in Region 4, where there are six new schools coming in — Thrall, Vanderbilt Industrial, Blanco, Cotulla, San Antonio Young Men’s Leadership and Stockdale.

Thrall can go in Florence’s place in 13 and Vanderbilt can replace Danbury in 14. But what to do with four new teams that would need to be placed in either District 15 (Comfort, Dilley, Karnes City, Natalia, Nixon-Smiley and Poth) or District 16 (Banquete, George West, Hebbronville, Monte Alto, Odem, Santa Rosa and Taft).

Due to the locations of the schools, the best hope might be a redo of the two districts. District 15 could include Comfort, Blanco, Cotulla, Dilley, Natalia, SA YMLA, George West and Hebbronville while District 16 would be Banquete, Karnes City, Monte Alto, Nixon-Smiley, Poth, Stockdale, Odem, Santa Rosa and Taft. This is all speculation — the only other option is to leave District 16 alone and create a Super 10 district in District 15 by adding Blanco, Cotulla, SA YMLA and Stockdale.

Again, we’ll know in February.