UIL changes course for East, West, Calhoun

Mike Forman By Mike Forman

Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:06 p.m.
Updated Dec. 7, 2017 at 8:59 a.m.

Victoria East's Brandon Tumlinson runs around Victoria  West's Bryce Sitka during their District 27-5A game  at Memorial Stadium.

Victoria East's Brandon Tumlinson runs around Victoria West's Bryce Sitka during their District 27-5A game at Memorial Stadium.   Angela Piazza for The Victoria Advocate

Victoria East and Victoria West are likely to be in the same football district when the UIL releases its Feb. 1 reclassification and realignment for the 2018-2020 school years.

But the same cannot be said for Calhoun.

The UIL announced its cutoff numbers for each school's preliminary enrollment figures Wednesday.

The biggest change will come in Class 5A, which will go to split divisions in football for the first time.

Victoria East turned in an enrollment of 2,105, and West submitted 1,862.5, which placed them in Division I, which has a range of 1,840 to 2,189.

Calhoun turned in an enrollment of 1,167, which places it in Division II, which has a range of 1,150 to 1,839.

The figures included students attending alternative campuses within a school district.

Victoria school district athletic director Leonard McAngus expected East and West to be among the larger Class 5A schools.

"It's no surprise to me," McAngus said. "I figured that's where we'd go. Now, we just need to see who we're with in February."

Calhoun came close to dropping to Class 4A, Division I, and will once again be on the lower end of the enrollment scale.

"I thought it was unusual," said Calhoun athletic director and head football coach Richard Whitaker. "This year, the UIL counted Hope High School, and those kids don't participate in the same sports. But we're used to being a smaller school - nothing is going to change for us."

Changes are in store for four area teams, with one moving up a classification, two going up a division, and one dropping a division.

Ganado will move from Class 2A to 3A and compete in Division II in football after submitting an enrollment of 227, which was two above the cutoff for Class 2A.

"We're used to it," said interim Ganado athletic director Johnny Lesak, who is a Ganado graduate. "Back in my day we were always the smallest or one of the smallest schools in our division."

Gonzales will remain in Class 4A and Karnes City will stay in Class 3A.

But both schools will move from Division II to Division I.

"I thought earlier in the fall we would be well within Division I," Gonzales athletic director and head football coach Kodi Crane said of the Apaches, who were four above the Division II cutoff of 789. "What happened is there were an inordinate amount of 5A teams who opted up. So that took everybody's number up which put us right on the bubble."

Karnes City athletic director and head football coach Jim Wood expected to go up a division after the Badgers turned in an enrollment of 350 - the Division II cutoff was 334.

"We've got a big group of kids," Wood said. "We've seen this group coming in as far as combinations and we've seen our numbers going up gradually. But it's a big jump from two years ago."

Van Vleck has been in Class 3A, Division I the last two years and lost to Yoakum in last week's regional playoff. The Leopards will be returning to Division II the next two years after turning in an enrollment of 328.

Teams will learn their districts for football and basketball in February.

"Our kids are ready to compete with whoever the UIL decides for them to play against," McAngus said. "As far as expectations, I expect us to get better and improve in all our sports. As far as realignment, we have to wait and see what might happen."

"It is what it is," Whitaker added. "We're always excited for a new challenge with the majority of our district changing. But it has new challenges, and that's always exciting, and we're looking forward to February."

Advocate assistant sports editor Rey Castillo contributed to this story.



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