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Class 6A likely coming, but not what expected

By MIKE FORMAN
July 30, 2012 at 2:30 a.m.


Return to Cowboys Stadium likely for state finals

SAN ANTONIO -- University Interscholastic League Athletic Director Mark Cousins said negotiations are ongoing and no contract has been signed for the football state championship games for the upcoming season.

But Cousins gave a strong indication the title games would return to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, where they were played last season.

Cousins said the lack of locker rooms at the Alamodome in San Antonio and the grass field at Reliant Stadium in Houston made it difficult to hold the games at those venues.

Cousins said the announcement would be made before the football season begins.

SAN ANTONIO - The University Interscholastic League is likely to create a Class 6A for its next reclassification and realignment.

But it won't be the Class 6A that has been discussed in the past.

Jamie Harrison, deputy director of the UIL, said the prospective changes in classification for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, which are subject to approval by the Legislative Council in October, would be made from the bottom up.

"There's a lot of talk about this romantic notion of a 6A conference," Harrison said Monday at a Texas High School Coaches Association press conference. "Take those big, huge schools in 5A and put them together and let them battle it out for this mega-conference championship.

"The problem is while that's fun to talk about at the coffee table the math doesn't work. We just don't have the schools at that end of the enrollment range to make a 6A where we take the largest and separate them out."

Harrison said of the 245 schools currently in Class 5A, 145 have enrollments of 2,500 or more, which would create a number of logistical problems if they were put in a separate classification.

"By definition if you take 145 schools and spread it over the state clearly there's going to be a great deal of extra travel for most schools in that conference," he explained.

Harrison said under the plan approved by the UIL's Standing Committee on Policy in June, the six-man conference would become Class 1A, Class 1A would become 2A, Class 2A would become 3A, Class 3A would become 4A, Class 4A would become 5A, and Class 5A would become 6A.

"Where the numbers are is at the other end of our enrollment range," Harrison said. "There are enough of those where the conference is creating a 6A structure."

The UIL hopes the new classifications will help ease some of the wide differences in enrollment.

"It helps us consider the enrollment cutoffs a little bit," he said. "That does trickle up and it will help us with the most difficult enrollment disparity, we have which is conference 3A."

UIL Athletic Director Mark Cousins announced the following changes for the upcoming season during the news conference.

The distance for girls cross country races will increase to three miles for Class 5A and 4A and remain at two miles for the other classifications.

Area track and field meets will be held in all classifications. The top four finishers at district meets will advance to the area meet between districts with consecutive numbers (for instance 1 and 2, 3 and 4) and the top four finishers at the area meet will advance to the regional meet.

Teams and individuals finishing third at the district and regional golf tournaments will advance to the regional and state tournaments, respectively.

Penalty kicks instead of shootouts will be used as tiebreakers in soccer playoff games.

NOTES: Cousins said the UIL will continue to steroid testing as mandated by the state legislature.

Cousins said 3,300 tests were conducted last year and yielded nine positive results.

The state volleyball tournament will be moved from San Marcos to Garland this year and the UIL is also looking into moving the state basketball tournament in the future because of conflicts with the boys tournament and South x Southwest in Austin. The UIL is also considering changes in the basketball tournament format such as playing semifinal games on Wednesday night.

The Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Football Game is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Alamodome.

The South squad will included Cuero's Colton Jacob, Gonzales' Landon Lock, Refugio's Shiloh Whetsel and Edna's Mac Long.

The game will be webcast live on foxsportssouthwest.com and foxsportshouston.com.

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