NORTH RICHLAND HILLS - The communities of Argyle and Sanger have built up one of the healthier rivalries in the Denton area over recent years.
But for at least two years that will come to a grinding halt on the football field, as the teams were assigned to separate districts Thursday when the UIL released its biennial realignment.
Sanger remains in District 9-3A, while Argyle switches over to District 10-3A.
"I'm disappointed that Sanger isn't one of our district teams," Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said. "Something I look forward to is challenging them, but the UIL didn't see it that way. We're working behind the scenes to pick up some middle school games with them, but that's it."
Argyle, who played in the Class 3A Division II state championship game in December, will be joined in the five-team District 10-3A by Aubrey, Carrollton Ranchview, Celina and Frisco Lone Star.
The Eagles will renew their rivalry with Celina, which was in their district two alignments ago, but will see some fresh faces that Rodgers is not familiar with - the likes of Ranchview and Lone Star.
"It's stressful," Rodgers said of playing schools from larger towns. "The two schools we have [Ranchview and Lone Star] have much larger enrollments than we do. They come in with a couple of hundred kids bigger than what we have. So that's concerning. I know how fast the Frisco school district is growing, so we have two more years of maybe what we had with Prosper and Lovejoy, with schools growing exponentially where they could have legit 4A numbers just a year into the deal."
Indians switch to 9-3A
Sanger will face Bridgeport, Decatur, Gainesville and Krum in district play for football and basketball. Indians football coach Chuck Galbreath was blindsided by the addition of Bridgeport, a team he thought would be too far west to be in Sanger's district.
"It's been eye-opening today," Galbreath said. "We didn't expect to go west like we did. We didn't expect to be in a five-team district. It changed our schedule from what we had in place more than it ever has in the last five years."
While most of the other coaches were hammering out their schedules, Galbreath remained outside of the large banquet room at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletics Complex, calling numerous coaches to set up nondistrict games. By the time all the coaches left, he still had an open spot on his schedule.
"It's been a mad dash to try and get games," Galbreath said. "I kind of compare it to the New York Stock Exchange. It's pretty crazy. There's lots of coaches running around trying to talk to people. It's pretty nerve-racking."
Krum moves up to Class 3A, Pilot Point down to 2A
Krum joins Sanger after being in Class 2A for many years. The Bobcats will face Caddo Mills, Farmersville, Alvord, Paradise, Wichita Falls Hirschi and Burkburnett in their nondistrict football schedule in 2012. Despite the jump up, Krum football coach Robinson said he isn't worried about a steep increase in competition.
"Our coaches do a great job of preparing our kids, and Krum's always been notorious for stepping up to the challenge," Robinson said. "I think we'll be ready in all sports. [Class] 2A can be just as difficult as 3A. It just depends on what district you get in."
Krum and Ponder will be separated, as Ponder remains in Class 2A Division I. Robinson said the loss of the Lions in their district will be tough, as the two schools are separated by about six miles and traditionally have been basketball powerhouses.
"Both schools have always been great in basketball, so it made for a great game every time we played them," Robinson said.
Pilot Point joins Ponder, Bowie, Boyd, Callisburg, Paradise and Whitesboro in District 5-2A. Pilot Point moves down from Class 3A, where it struggled the past two seasons. In 2009, the Bearcats won the Class 2A Division I state championship over Kirbyville.
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