It’s less than a week until the latest installment of the biennial UIL realignment, but this one obviously holds a higher level of intrigue than usual for Highland Park coaches, players and fans in various sports.
As announced in early December, the Scots will be part of the new 6A classification for the next two school years. Not only will they join the state’s largest classification (based on snapshot enrollment figures), but they will be the smallest 6A school in the entire state. With an enrollment figure of 2,106, HP is just six students above the 5A cutoff of 2,100.
Obviously, this will make things tougher on the Scots to a certain degree. But exactly how much tougher? That will start to become clearer on Monday, when HP learns its new district foes.
So rather than wait for the curtain to be drawn, let’s speculate a little bit.
Remember that one of the main criteria for redistricting is geography, so by my estimation, the Scots could end up in a district with some combination of about 27 schools. Those possibilities include:
- Dallas ISD (3 schools): Skyline, Sunset, W.T. White
- Garland ISD (6 schools): Garland, Garland Lakeview Centennial, Garland Naaman Forest, North Garland, Rowlett, Sachse
- Irving ISD (3 schools): Irving, Irving MacArthur, Irving Nimitz
- Mesquite ISD (3 schools): Mesquite, Mesquite Horn, North Mesquite
- Plano ISD (3 schools): Plano, Plano East, Plano West
- Richardson ISD (4 schools): Lake Highlands, Richardson, Richardson Berkner, Richardson Pearce
- Others (5 schools): Allen, Carrollton R.L. Turner, Jesuit, McKinney Boyd, Rockwall
The district likely will include 6-8 teams. And the UIL groups schools from the same school district together, so if you are grouped with one school from a particular district, you’ll be grouped with all of them. Obviously some of these scenarios would be more favorable than others. The worst case for HP likely would be inclusion with the Plano schools and Allen, which would form a powerhouse league in several sports. Easier sledding generally would be found with the Dallas or Irving schools.
A handful of prognosticators have used their crystal ball with varied results, including Corbett Smith at The Dallas Morning News and Matt Stepp at The Old Coach. Almost anything is on the table, because if there’s one thing any Texas high school sportswriter knows, it’s that you can never guess exactly what the UIL will do.
We’ll be alongside several area coaches on Monday morning when everything is unveiled, so check back then for immediate reactions and analysis as HP begins a new chapter in its athletic history.