Shifting to the east and west was the dominant theme for local teams when the University Interscholastic League released its district alignments for the 2014 through 2016 academic years on Monday morning.

Shifting to the east and west was the dominant theme for local teams when the University Interscholastic League released its district alignments for the 2014 through 2016 academic years on Monday morning.

The moves, however, did not affect Sherman and Denison for the first time in nearly a decade. The biggest raise of an eyebrow came with Melissa heading away from the area and both defending district champs Whitesboro and Pottsboro being put in the same district.

Unlike previous realignment proceedings, the UIL released classification cutoffs before the announcement day, taking away the bi-annual waiting game and accompanying shock when schools would either drop or move up without any warning.

The enrollment cutoffs are — 6A: 2,100 and above; 5A: 1,060-2,099; 4A: 465-1,059; 3A: 220-464; 2A: 105-219; 1A: 104.9 and below.

When those numbers were revealed in early December, only one Texoma team — Bells — was switching classifications for all sports while Howe, Collinsville and Fannindel were moving in divisions for football.

From this point on, schools will also be adjusting to a name change to all classifications. Six-man football will now be call Class 1A with each ascending classification simply adding a number to its current designation, culminating with Class 6A at the top.

Sherman and Denison will stay in a district almost intact from the last cycle, which has been a rarity. In each of the previous four installments, both were sent in a different direction. The last time the rivals stayed put for consecutive realignments was 2004 and 2006.

The new look 10-5A includes those two, plus holdovers Lovejoy, McKinney North, Wylie and Wylie East while McKinney and Prosper replace Royse City and Greenville.

Denison will open its new stadium by hosting Frisco Liberty to start the season and then face Argyle in the Southwest Showcase at AT&T Stadium in Arlington at 2 p.m. on Sept. 15. The Jackets agreed to face Argyle for the next four seasons, with last year’s 3A Division II champions coming to Denison in 2015 and then a home-and-home series for 2016 and 2017.

Sherman’s first two non-district football opponents are Frisco Lone Star and Sulphur Springs.

Both the Bearcats and Jackets are looking for a Week 3 opponent after their original choices, Little Elm and Frisco Wakeland, were part of the same nine-team district.

But there were still some surprises when the districts were released.

Melissa was divided from the other area Class 4A programs. The Cardinals went southeast to join Bullard, Canton, Emory Rains, Gilmer and Nevada Community while Anna, Bonham and Celina ended up together to join west schools Aubrey, Bridgeport and Krum.

Those changes came about because the classification was split for football before the playoffs for the first time, like 2A, 1A and six-man have been doing. The divisional cutoffs are as follows — 4A Division I: 686-1,059; 4A Division II: 465-685; 3A Division I: 315-464; 3A Division II: 220-314; 2A Division I: 158-219; 2A Division II: 105-157; 1A Division I: 55-104.9; 1A Division II: 54 and below.

Some minor shifting in Class 3A Division I allowed all of the Texoma teams to be in the same district this time around. Whitesboro, Pottsboro, Callisburg, Farmersville, Pilot Point and Van Alstyne will compete together in 5-3A (I).

One of the teams that left that group, Howe, finds itself in the holdover Division II district of S&S, Whitewright, Tom Bean, Leonard and Gunter. The Bulldogs’ easy slide to familiar foes was made possible by Bells dropping to Class 2A.

Bells, which changed classifications for the first time since a move up in 1990, joins Blue Ridge, Trenton, Alvord, Chico, and Valley View. Honey Grove and Wolfe City stayed together in the east to pair with Rivercrest, Clarksville, Como-Pickton and Quinlan Boles.

The lone area Division II teams, Celeste and Collinsville, hooked up with Cumby, Detroit, Era, Lindsay and Muenster.

For team sports other than football, there were a couple of minor adjustments.

The current five-team group of Anna, Bonham, Melissa, Community and Princeton simply added Quinlan Ford to remove the in-district bye, while Celina and Gainesville find themselves in the same district instead of being potential first-round playoff opponents.

An all Texoma-area 3A district was taken apart with half heading east and a pair going west as opposed to the previous north-south cut that kept travel to a minimum.

Callisburg, Howe, Pottsboro, S&S and Whitesboro stay together but pick up Gunter, Pilot Point and Ponder. That meant Whitewright and Tom Bean are joined by Leonard, Van Alstyne, Caddo Mills, Commerce, Farmersville and Lone Oak.

The smaller non-football districts remained almost intact. Collinsville once again remained in the west while Bells dropped in with Blue Ridge, Celeste, Honey Grove, Sam Rayburn, Bland, Trenton and Wolfe City.

Dodd City, Ector, Savoy and Fannindel are linked with Campbell, Miller Grove and Roxton.