District realignment is a mixed bag that has a habit of tricking you into feeling optimistic. You can map it out, read all the mock districts and begin to give into hope. But in recent years, one thing has become certain. When Baytown makes plans, the UIL laughs.
This year, Goose Creek CISD had its high schools lined up to compete in the same district. Looking over the map of Class 5A D1 schools, it figured Goose Creek would be paired with Port Arthur Memorial and Beaumont United. Add next-door neighbor La Porte to the mix and there were six teams with the hope two HISD schools would fill out the rest of the district.
Instead, the powers that be decided Friendswood and Galveston Ball would make better district rivals. That of course, makes it more difficult.
In looking at where Goose Creek schools wound up, it is hard not to look at where they could have gone.
What if Sterling had not have dropped from Class 6A. It is hard not to notice in District 22-6A that Deer Park and Channelview were paired up with the five Pasadena schools. That is what you call winning the lottery. In fact, a site called the Fizz Rankings listed it as the weakest district in the state. It is all the district could have asked for and more. Unfortunately, knowing the district’s luck, it would have gone north to a nifty seven-team district featuring the Humble schools with North Shore, West Brook and CE King. That one, by the way, is listed as the second-toughest in the class.
The Ganders petitioned up from Class 5A Division II to Division I. Had it stayed in Division II, it might have returned to the Golden Triangle with Barbers Hill, Crosby and the same foes so you can call it a wash. As for GCM, time will tell on trading New Caney for Friendswood and Porter for Beaumont United.
That, however, is just the beginning.
In what can be referred to as the Olympic sport district, all sports other than football, Goose Creek schools will have to square off against nine teams instead of eight. The district will be comprised of teams which GCM and REL already compete against such as Friendswood and Galveston Ball while bringing La Porte and Manvel into the mix. Meanwhile, Goose Creek CISD can look to the east where there are a couple of seven team districts which means fewer teams competing for a playoff spot.
Some guys have all the luck.
Goose Creek schools have had some success in recent years. The GCM girls basketball team is a perennial playoff contender and Sterling baseball is coming into its own. The GCM soccer teams and REL boys have earned trophies. You can only imagine Sterling tennis is looking forward to jumping into some 5A competition.
But overall, particularly in football, success has been fleeting. While Goose Creek CISD lays claim to growing giants, you can’t help but think. The district is going to need to raise some giant killers to gain some respect and earn some better district draws in the future.
Michael Pineda is the assistant managing editor for The Baytown Sun. He can be reached at 281-425-8018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.