Split 5A football class on the way in 2018

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A referendum ballot to split Class 5A football teams into Division I and Division II before the season has reportedly passed.

Voting by 5A superintendents ended Tuesday, and — according to various media reports — the ballot passed 147-77.

A UIL spokeswoman could not confirm the measure passed, saying the results hadn’t been fully tabulated, but did say it had sent out preliminary numbers to members of the UIL’s legislative council. The official numbers won’t be released for a couple of weeks.

If the measure has passed, it would go into effect at the 2018 realignment. There, schools would be split in Division I and Division II first, then assigned a district consisting of all teams in the same division. Four teams would still make the playoffs from each district and all would be in the same playoff bracket.

“It’s a fair concept, but we don’t know what the districts look like,” said Denton ISD athletic director Joey Florence, who served on the Texas High School Coaches Association board of directors about 10 years ago when the concept was first presented by UIL executive director Charles Breithaupt. “When it comes out [in February], that’s when we’ll get a better feel for the impact it has on your district and your travel.”

Currently, 5A schools have an enrollment between 1,100 and 2,149. If the split is made right down the middle, with an even number of schools in both divisions, 5A Division I would consist of schools that have an enrollment between 1,742 and 2,149, while Division II would consist of schools with an enrollment between 1,100 and 1,741.

Reducing the enrollment disparity among schools likely would help smaller schools compete against schools with similar depth, but also it will increase travel for every school and force some schools in the same ISD to be in different districts.

“I think that’s the reasoning behind it,” Florence said. “That’s what Breithaupt’s point was back then, that for the 4A and 5A schools [then known as 3A and 4A], there is a huge difference. 4A is a huge difference.”

If an ISD has schools in different divisions, it has the option to push all schools up to Division I.

“There are negatives where you break up your school district and multi-school districts can be in different districts, so there might be some administrative headaches,” he said. “You can’t really tell yet because we don’t know what the districts will be. Certainly, it is more equitable, though, for everyone involved.”

Staff writer Adam Boedeker contributed to this report


Here's what a split 5A could look like in the Dallas area, assuming no school districts opt to move all their schools up to Division I:

5A Division I

Dallas-area District 1

Birdville (Enrollment: 2,076)

Colleyville Heritage (2,098)

Grapevine (1,813)

Justin Northwest (2,079)

Haslet Eaton (1,964)

Richland (2,039)

Saginaw Chisholm Trail (2,005)

Saginaw (1,907)

Dallas-area District 2

Mansfield Lake Ridge (Enrollment: 2,130)

Mansfield Legacy (2,045)

Mansfield Summit (2,147)

Mansfield Timberview (1,758)

Midlothian (1,824)

Red Oak (1,880)

Waxahachie (2,055)

Dallas-area District 3

Bryan Adams (Enrollment: 1,966)

Carrollton Creekview (1,984)

Carrollton Newman Smith (1,928)

Carrollton R.L. Turner (2,103.5)

Molina (2,090)

Sunset (2,052)

Dallas-area District 4

Denton (Enrollment: 2,045)

Denton Ryan (2,067)

Little Elm (2,003)

McKinney North (2,094)

Prosper (2,110)

Dallas-area District 5

Frisco (Enrollment: 1,773)

Frisco Centennial (2,035)

Frisco Heritage (1,941)

Frisco Independence (1,887)

Frisco Liberty (2,062)

Frisco Reedy (1,832)

Frisco Wakeland (2,068)

The Colony (2,060)

Dallas-area District 6

Highland Park (Enrollment: 2,116)

Lancaster (1,901.5)

Mesquite Poteet (1,816)

Texarkana Texas (1,914)

West Mesquite (1,978)

Wylie East (1,832)

5A Division II

Dallas-area District 1

Denison (Enrollment: 1,308)

Denton Braswell (1,429.75)

Fort Worth North Side (1,688)

Fort Worth Boswell (1,727)

Frisco Lone Star (1,722)

Lake Dallas (1,290)

Wichita Falls (1,234)

Wichita Falls Rider (1,516.5)

Dallas-area District 2

Aledo (Enrollment: 1,594)

Arlington Seguin (1680.5)

Burleson (1,671)

Burleson Centennial (1,686)

Corsicana (1,604)

Ennis (1,619)

Everman (1,436)

Joshua (1,457)

Dallas-area District 3

Adamson (Enrollment: 1,519)

Kimball (1,485)

North Dallas (1,209)

Seagoville (1,355)

South Oak Cliff (1,305)

Spruce (1,727)

Thomas Jefferson (1,739)

Woodrow Wilson (1,736)

Dallas-area District 4

Conrad (Enrollment: 1,165)

Forney (1,473)

Greenville (1,257)

Hillcrest (1,181)

Lovejoy (1,334)

North Forney (1,389)

Royse City (1,479.5)

Sulphur Springs (1,177.5)

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