With Mother Nature interrupting what was scheduled to be a fun-filled weekend of basketball tournament action we, like almost every other sports writer, can play fantasy football.
Not the draft-a-player game but the district realignment scenarios.
With the UIL releasing its conference cutoff numbers, the next official step comes in early February when the league releases the make-up of districts for the next biennium.
We can jump ahead of the game and propose our own district makeups, purely for our selfish desires which are to limit travel.
Let’s start with Howe.
With an enrollment figure of 302, the Bulldogs will compete for the next two years in Conference 3A, Division II. A natural spot for Howe would be to replace Bells in what was formerly District 7-2A DII, after the Panthers dropped down in class. The six-team district would be comprised of teams from Gunter, Leonard,S&S, Tom Bean, Whitewright and Howe.
With four teams now making the playoffs, some folks don’t like the idea of six-team districts.
Well, for the last two seasons in Class 2A, DII, there were 16 districts and six of those districts were six-team leagues and one had just five teams in the mix.
Instead of making a 54-mile, one-way trip to Sunnyvale, Bulldog teams, band and fans could enjoy a Friday night meal at home, then jump in the car for the six-mile trip to Tom Bean.
What’s not to like about that?
Not that the competition would be that much easier. After all, here it is the first week in December and Leonard is still playing football, S&S just got beat at Thanksgiving and Gunter is always tough.
With the improvement Howe Coach Zack Hudson and his staff can bring to the table, we think that six-team league will work just fine.
Those same selfish desires are present at the heart of our proposal for the new six-team Division I district for Van Alstyne.
How about us replacing Sunnyvale, Caddo Mills, and Commerce with Whitesboro and Pilot Point? To replace Howe, let’s go just a bit further east of Whitesboro and pick up Callisburg to make it a six-team league.
Pottsboro, Van Alstyne, Pilot Point, Whitesboro, Farmersville and Callisburg.
We tried to figure out a way to replace Farmersville with a team east of Highway 75 but I got a headache for all that thinking and had to lie down.
If your thinking about how the talent would stack up in those proposals, it’s a waste of time.
Talent comes and goes. Just a year ago, S&S was a 3-7 team; now look at the positive rebound of this year’s VA team.
Teams like Leonard and S&S made historic postseason runs this year, but both lose key players that fueled that progress. Unless there’s another Willie Winborne lurking around Sadler, the Rams will be down a bit next year.
It’s the same situation at Leonard. Solomon Titus, the Tigers’ leading rusher, and quarterback Justin Bennett both graduate in the spring.
As far as the proposed new district for Van Alstyne goes, Whitesboro will be losing the top passer and runner from its district championship team. Coach Eddie Gill always had good teams, however, as does Pottsboro, so the road will not be easy. But we think the Panthers can compete in our proposed loop.
Until Feb. 3, we will play the waiting game. And if some of this da-gummed snow will melt, we will watch some more hoops.