By BRYAN URBACH
The state of Texas is making big changes to its UIL classification system, adding another conference to list and eliminating (or renaming) the six-man football division as Class 1A.
Starting in the February of 2014, Texas UIL will be rated with Classes 1A to 6A in both football and basketball.
According to the new realignment rules, schools with the attendance level of 2,100 and above will be Class 6A; those with attendance of 1,060 to 2,099 will be Class 5A; those with attendance of 465 to 1,059 will be Class 4A; those with attendance of 220 to 464 will be Class 3A; those with attendance of 105 to 219 will be Class 2A; and those with attendance of 104.9 and below will be Class 1A.
Classes 1A through 4A will be consist of two divisions each — further breaking down attendance levels.
Based on most recent attendance numbers, Palestine would be a part of the Class 4A DI category. This means the Wildcats will be moving up from Class 3A and will likely play against opponents who have more students in attendance at their schools.
The Westwood Panthers would be making a huge leap from Class 2A to Class 4A DII, which puts Palestine and Westwood in the same class, but in two separate divisions, meaning that the Panthers would play schools with smaller attendance numbers than Palestine.
As for the rest of the Dogwood Circle, Elkhart will be making the jump to Class 3A DI; Cayuga Wildcats will be in Class 2A DI; the Grapeland Sandies will be in the same class and division as the Cayuga Wildcats; the Frankston Indians will be in Class 3A DII; and the Oakwood Panthers round out the Dogwood Circle with them being in Class 1A DI.
Each of the classes for the Dogwood Circle teams could change, depending enrollment numbers.
The official realignments for next year are set to be released on Feb. 3 for the 2014 through 2016 seasons. District alignments for other activities will be released in the order of their seasons.
For more detailed information on the conference realignment for the UIL, visit: http://www.uiltexas.org/files/alignments/2014-2016/R&RPolicies_2014-2016.pdf