The University Interscholastic League held its biennial “Snapshot Day” — the day when schools must turn in their grades 9-12 enrollment figures to determine their classifications — on Friday, Oct. 27.
For schools in Gonzales County and their conference opponents in neighboring counties, most will find themselves remaining in the same classification if the thresholds for those classifications remain similar for the fall 2024 through spring 2026 seasons.
Gonzales High School
Gonzales High School reported an enrollment of 760 students in grades 9-12 on Oct. 27, a decrease of 72 students from the 832 that were reported in October 2021. This decrease should not impact what classification the Apaches play in football as they are the largest school in District 12-4A-2 in terms of enrollment. The other schools in the football district (with Snapshot Day 2023 enrollment figures) include Cuero (641), Giddings (623), La Grange (608), Smithville (559) and Caldwell (572.5 reported in 2021; new figures not available).
Enrollment for Class 4A for the 2022-24 biennium was set at 545 to 1,299 students, with football broken down into Division 1 (880-1,299) and Division 2 (545-879). Unless the bottom number for Division 2 were to go up by more than 15 students, all six schools in District 12-4A-2 will remain in that same classification and most likely will remain together in a district due to being reasonably close, geographically.
The unknown is whether UIL would keep this district in Region III (where districts are numbered 9-12 and are closer to San Antonio and Austin), or place it in Region IV (where districts are numbered 13-16 and are closer to the Greater Houston area).
Currently, the Apaches are aligned with Cuero, La Vernia and five San Antonio schools when it comes to basketball, volleyball, cross country, academics and spring athletics except for baseball and softball and play in Region IV in District 28-4A. In softball and baseball, Gonzales plays Cuero, La Vernia, Navarro, SA Kennedy and SA Memorial. In soccer, the Apaches play against La Vernia, Yoakum and five San Antonio schools in District 27-4A.
Nixon-Smiley High School
Nixon-Smiley High School reported an enrollment of 287 students in 9-12, an increase of three above the 284 reported in 2021. That should keep Nixon-Smiley in District 15-3A-2 for football along with some of its district mates, including Poth (287), Dilley (267), Karnes City (310), Comfort (364) and Natalia (345), as the threshold for 3A last time was 250-544, with Division 1 being from 360-544 and Division 2 being from 250-359.
One member of the district will be headed for Division 1: South San Antonio West, which reported an enrollment jump from 354 in 2021 to 519 this year. But that should leave a spot in the district for an old familiar foe for the Mustangs — the Stockdale Brahmas, who dropped to 2A-Division 1 for the 2022-24 biennium.
However, Stockdale has reported an enrollment jump from 248 to 274, an increase of 26 students, which would put them 24 students above the old threshold for 3A of 250. It is highly likely Stockdale will be rejoining Nixon-Smiley to renew their football rivalry as the two schools are just about 12 miles apart on US 87.
The Mustangs play in Region IV and appear likely to remain there unless UIL decides to move them into Region III, which is closer to the San Antonio area schools.
Currently, the Mustangs are aligned with Luling, Marion and four San Antonio schools (Monte Vista, Northern Oaks, Cole and Randolph) when it comes to basketball, volleyball, cross country, and spring athletics except for baseball and softball and play in Region IV in District 26-3A. In softball and baseball, Nixon-Smiley plays Luling, Marion, Northern Oaks, Cole and Randolph in District 26-3A. In academics, they are put into District 26-3A with Comal Memorial Early College, Hill Country College Prep, Luling, Marion, SA Brooks Academy of Science & English, SA Brooks Collegiate, Cole and Randolph.
In football, Marion (490), Cole (447), Randolph (458 in 2021), Luling (432 in 2021), Yoakum (472 in 2021), Yoakum (472 in 2021) and Hallettsville (427) should all remain in 3A-Division 1, barring any drastic changes to the threshold.
Shiner (181), Flatonia (210), Three Rivers (204) and Weimar (199) all seem primed to remain in 2A-Division 1, which had a threshold of 164.5-249, while Falls City (123) and Yorktown (153) will likely stay in 2A-Division 2, which had a threshold of 105-164.4. However, Schulenburg has seen its enrollment rise to 251 from 240 in 2021, which puts it on the bubble of moving up to 3A-Division 2.
Waelder (75) does not play football, but is firmly in Class A for volleyball, basketball, cross country, spring sports and academics.
How it works
Enrollments for UIL member high schools — also known as Average Daily Memberships — are used to place schools within alignments so that schools of roughly the same size are playing against each other.
The largest schools are placed in Conference 6A, which shall consist of a minimum of 220 schools and a maximum of 250 participating in high school football — not including any schools which opt up to play in a higher classification than their enrollment numbers would otherwise indicate. Schools may opt to play up in classification, but never down.
Meanwhile, schools in Conferences 2A through 5A shall have a minimum of 200 schools per conference, to the best extent possible, and be arranged so that the enrollment ratio for grades 9-12 between the largest school in the conference and the smallest is about 2.0.
With the exception of academics, wrestling, Conference A-5A football, and in activities that do not have enough schools, there are 32 districts per conference. For Conferences A-5A football, there are 16 districts each for Division 1, where the largest schools in each classification play, and Division 2, which is reserved for the smaller schools.
While schools are placed into football districts in even numbered years, they are placed in districts annually for all other UIL-sponsored activities.
Except in urban areas, geographically contiguous schools shall be placed into districts of no more than ten (10) schools, unless approved by the District Assignment Appeals Committee. There shall be no attempt to perpetuate or avoid “old rivalries” and socioeconomic factors are not considered. However, a school may be placed in different districts for different activities to alleviate travel burdens.