With the Monday announcement of the new UIL realignment for the 2020-22 sports cycle comes plenty of challenges for local sports teams.
In soccer, both girls and boys programs will see some new faces and challenges when the next season kicks off in December.
The current season is currently in full force as district play is off and running. However, a few area coaches decided to address the subject.
In District 22-5A, the three Baytown high schools of Robert E. Lee, Ross. Sterling and Goose Creek Memorial will reside together in the same district for the first time in history and will have to contend with six others for supremacy including La Porte, Santa Fe, Texas City, Ball, Friendswood and Manvel.
On both sides of the sport, Friendswood, Texas City and Manvel have been most competitive.
But some coaches see other issues to discuss.
“I look at it from two different perspectives,” REL head boys coach Jay Langlois said. “One is the traveling involved. How far are we going to have to go on a Tuesday night and secondly from the number of teams in the district. I have never been in a nine-team district before. Mathematically, it is a disadvantage to have nine teams compared to six, seven, or eight. That should be equitable from a competition stand point. However, I do like that they change up the schools every two years. Unless it is a crosstown rival, some of the match-ups get stale over time.”
Roman Huizar’s Goose Creek Memorial girls are undefeated at 13-0-1 and he is optimistic about what the new alignment means for the area rivalries.
“The good thing is all three Baytown schools are in same district for the first time,” Huizar said. “The other side of things is the distance we will have to travel now, nothing is really close other than those in Baytown. We traded two short drives to Crosby and Galena Park for LaPorte and Manvel. Also we went to a 9-team district which makes it’s tougher for a playoff spot.
“My biggest thing is just logistics.”
Barbers Hill’s programs are only in their fourth season and experiencing the typical growing pains. The girls have had a good start to the campaign while the boys have won only once.
They will be paired up in District 21-5A with Crosby, Galena Park, Nederland, Port Arthur Memorial, Port Neches-Groves and Beaumont United.
“We’ve played Crosby the past four years so we are familiar with them and we’ve played Galena Park this year as well,” Barbers Hill boys coach Brian Moore said. “United is the unknown team. I feel like every team will be able to compete with each other every night.”