Come on children.... Focus... Back to the alignment discussion...
I LIKE THEM!
4 from each district to regionals is a BIG improvement. Nice job UIL!
Sure I'm persuaded by the prospect of 1 wrestler being the undisputed State champion. But consider that the UIL champion doesn't get to/have to wrestle the TAPPS champion. So is the current UIL champion really the undisputed State champ? No. We have some fabulous wrestlers coming out of Bishop Lynch, St. Mark's, San Antonio Christian, Faustina Academy (Sipes), etc.. It's funny that there's never been a thread I can remember over the last six years I've been on here about how we need the TAPPS champion and the UIL champion to wrestle off to determine who really is the best. But we HAVE to do it for UIL 4A and 5A?
Having double the number of UIL state champs will have a positive impact on wrestling. More kids will achieve success levels they dream of, more parents will be excited for their kids, more people will follow the sport and maybe more kids will get college offers. Hopefully the more level playing field will get more non-5A schools to take up the sport. Wouldn't that be great? The alignment is not a game changer but it helps. Let's be positive and accept this in the name of growing wrestling in our great State.
Many school districts, including Austin ISD, put in place travel restrictions that limit teams to within 100 miles. I've heard some have limits of 30 miles. The UIL was forced to realign with this in mind, and had to group geographically. That's why the two 4A schools in the West/Panhandle are by themselves and are over 150 miles away, with the next nearest 5A wrestling school 375 miles away in Weatherford. What could the UIL do here?
Some quick facts: Region 1 has no new schools in either 4A or 5A but loses Canyon and Hamlin. Region 2 4A adds Chisholm Trail and Dallas Carter, and loses none. Region 3 adds 15 new schools in 4A with 12 of those in Houston ISD's district 11 (is this for real?), and loses 3 schools from the old District 19 - Greenville, Pine Tree and Quinlan Ford and Houston King from the old District 24. Region 4 loses Texas School for the Blind, Robstown, and Edcouch-Elsa but adds 3 more in Schertz Clemons, Cibolo Steele, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Southwest.
Did you take a look at the huge school districts? For the 17 schools in Dallas ISD's District 7-4A, I can't remember seeing more than 2 of these schools participating in any tournament. Do these 17 schools all REALLY offer wrestling???? NO! Same for 11-4A in Houston. Of these 16 schools, I can only recall Houston Lee offering wrestling. I'm sure some other do, but grouping all these together makes sense. Hopefully the UIL knows something we don't and thinks this alignment might get these big ISDs to adopt our sport. The rest of the 4A districts actually look pretty logical. The Corpus schools got grouped with the Valley schools which are 200 miles away. Yikes.
The 5A districts actually worked out better than I would have imagined. Region 1 and Region 2 have 8 teams, in good geographic vicinity, in 7 of the 8 districts. That's almost perfect. Region 3 (sans Allen -- lucky them) also looks appropriate. The 15 school District 12 seems too big until you look at the schools -- at least 5 of them don't offer wrestling as far as I can tell. Region 4 seems to have gotten the worst of it. The Austin schools are finally in one district but San Antonio is still jammed up with 12 schools including the 2 best from Corpus. ALL of these schools wrestle and they are good. District 15 challenges for the deepest in the State. District 16 has 13 schools and they all have good wrestling programs. The Valley went from 2 full districts into 1 massive one. Region 4's districts are all tough and no one will dominate. It will be a great regional!
Sign me up as a fan of the new alignments!
While I'm on here.... It wasn't that long ago that this site had a mob mentality against the "cheating" Bishop Lynch who, frankly, built a great program and finally got Texas some national respect. Now the mob is against Allen. I found myself rooting against Allen at the State Championships, pulling for the "underdogs". I almost lost my voice from screaming for 2 time champ Aaron Walker in his epic match with one of the greatest wrestlers in Texas history, the wonderfully gifted Oliver Pierce. But I have nothing but respect for what Coach Best and the Allen wrestling community have accomplished and I find myself pulling for all their guys when they go out of state and compete against the nation's best. We need more programs like Allen, and I hope those who truly care about the sport are watching what they do and copying them. I just couldn't be as proud about Texas wrestling without them. If the fans on ITW don't grow and support this sport, who will?