The second step in the latest University Interscholastic League's realignment process took place as the governing body announced the classification cutoffs as well as the dividing lines for football divisions.
And there were four Texoma schools that were greatly affected by what the final numbers were — none bigger than Van Alstyne, which will be moving up to Class 4A starting next school year. The Panthers turned in 517 students and the Class 3A/4A cutoff was 515, meaning VA made it just over the line by a handful of kids. The cutoff two years ago was 505 students but usually moves up — it was a question of how much it would jump and it did not go high enough for the Panthers to stay put.
Van Alstyne was the only Grayson County school to be switching classifications and the only one to potentially do so following Snapshot Day, which is the first part of the realignment process when schools submit their enrollment numbers to the UIL. None of the others were within 40 students of the cutoff that would put them in a difference classification.
The move will not only change the current District 5-3A (I) football group, which also loses Lone Oak going down to Division II, but District 10-3A for all other sports.
Two other schools found themselves just on the high side of a cutoff when it came to determining football divisions.
Howe stayed in Class 3A Division I by seven students. The Bulldogs had an enrollment of 356 and the cutoff to drop to Division II was 350 after that number moved up from 335.
Collinsville ended up remaining in Class 2A Division I by just a single student. The Pirates turned in an enrollment of 166 and the cutoff to go to Division II was at 165.5, a number that moved up from 161.5 the last time.
Tioga will be moving up to Class 2A Division I for football but it was an expected switch when the Bulldogs sent in an enrollment number of 187 on Snapshot Day and well above the old cutoff.
For Sherman and Denison, they will remain in separate Class 5A football divisions for a second straight realignment — Denison in Division II and Sherman in Division I — but the Bearcats were a little closer to dropping than might have been expected. Sherman turned in an enrollment of 1951.5 and the cutoff moved up from 1840 to 1900. Regardless, the Battle of the Ax will remain as a non-district contest near the beginning of the season.
There will be changes to both of their current districts, however. For Sherman, both Texas High and West Mesquite will be moving down to Division II while for Denison, Frisco Reedy goes to Division I and Denton Braswell went all the way up to Class 6A.
The final part of realignment will come during the first week of February when the UIL releases the districts for all sports and schools will know their opponents to determine the playoff brackets for the next two seasons.