UIL Realignment puts Jacksonville, Rusk in challenging spots

AUSTIN — Early Monday morning high schools in Texas learned where their respective district homes would be for the 2020-2022 school terms.

The University Interscholastic League's biannual reclassification certainly didn't do Jacksonville or Rusk any favors.

District 9-5A-II will be the Indians' new home in football.

Other league members are Hallsville, Pine Tree, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Nacogdoches, Texarkana Texas High and Whitehouse.

Basically, the only difference in the Tribe's current football district and its new one, is the addition of Texas High, which replaces Lindale, which is dropping down to Division 4A-II. Jacksonville is 1-11 all-time versus the Tigers, who are dropping down from Class 5A, Division I.

"We coulod have been in a nine-team district and we could have been in a six-team district," Jacksonville athletic director and head football coach Wayne Coleman said. "I think where we ended up was the most probable outcome for us.

"We replaced a short trip to Lindale, with a long trip to Texas High. And, Texas High was the team that eliminated Lufkin from the playoffs this (past) season. Texas High seems to always be tough."

Jacksonville will also be moving from Region II to Region III and will be matched up against District 10-5A-II in bi-district, which includes College Station A&M Consolidated and Hunstville.

For basketball and volleyball, Jacksonville is slotted in District 16-5A-II (Region II), along with Huntsville, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, John Tyler and Whitehouse.

"Again, travel is a real concern here, especially for the games that are played on school nights," Coleman said. "Can you imagine a triple-header in Huntsville on a Tuesday night? We were certainly surprised that Huntsville is included in the (basketball-volleyball) district."

Rusk's new home is Region III, District 10-4A-II.

Other schools in the circuit are Carthage, who is dropping down from Class 4A-I, Center, Jasper, Madisonville and Shepard.

Carthage is fresh off a state championship in Class 4A-I and is a perennial state power.

District 7-4A-II (Region II) will contain Bullard, Brownsboro, Canton, Mexia and Van.

The Panthers have been in a five-team conference for the past four seasons as well.

Troup's Tigers will join Arp, Big Sandy, Grand Saline, West Rusk, Quitman and Winona is District 9-3A-II, which will be a part of Region II.

The UIL has sent Alto south, into Region III, District 11-2A-I.

The loop appears to be formidable and contains Centerville, Grapeland, Groveton, Jewitt Leon and Normangee, in addition to the Yellowjackets.

New Summerfield, which does not field a football team, will compete in District 22-2A-I.

The basketball-volleyball league will also be home to Alto, Cushing, Douglass, Garrison, Mount Enterprise and Woden.

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