Plenty of changes could come as the University Interscholastic League (UIL), the governing body of high school sports in Texas, prepares for its latest realignment in February.
Last week, schools were asked to turn in their official enrollment numbers on “Snapshot Day” to help determine where they will be placed when the changes come. Several schools, like Highland Park, Aledo, and DeSoto, could change levels depending on the official cutoff.
Highland Park moved from 5A to 6A during the 2022 cycle after becoming a consistent state championship contender in football in 5A Division I. According to The Dallas Morning News, the Scots expected to have about 2,180 students before Snapshot Day, which could return them to 5A Division I based on the cutoff from 2022.
A sharp decrease in enrollment may also move DeSoto, defending 6A Division II football state champion, down to 5A.
Aledo, which has dominated 5A and has won 23 consecutive football games, reportedly expects to move up to 6A.
“There is a good chance that we go up,” Aledo coach Robby Jones told the DMN. “If it was the realignment number [for 2022], we would be 6A. But there is always a chance that they bump that number up there to where we could stay 5A.”
Per the UIL, the 2A through 5A levels must have a minimum of 200 football teams, while 6A must have somewhere between 220 and 250.
The UIL has been realigning schools every two years since 1976. The enrollment numbers have increased substantially each time and resulted in the addition of a 5A level in 1980 and a 6A level in 2014. With the current growth, some have been advocating for a 7A tier to be added during this realignment cycle.
While the UIL has already said the numbers do not call for a 7A level yet, it is something being considered for the future.
The changes are generally announced in stages in February and March, while the teams affected wrap up their regular seasons on the field this weekend.