Old High officially dropping to Class 4A after UIL releases cutoff numbers

·4 min read
The Coyotes charge out onto the field for the second half of a Rider-Old High football game. 2021 was the 60th year of the rivalry game.

After competing as one of the smallest Class 5A schools in the state for several years, Wichita Falls High will now experience what it’s like to be one of the largest Class 4A programs.

UIL announced classification and football division cutoff numbers Wednesday morning, setting the bottom number for Class 5A at 1,300. Wichita Falls High reported a snapshot enrollment number of 1,299 last month, sending the Coyotes into Class 4A. For football, they will compete in Class 4A Division I.

There is no intention for an appeal to the UIL for the Coyotes to opt up to Class 5A.

“I’m excited for all our programs,” WFHS head football coach and campus coordinator Grant Freeman said. “You’re going to be looking at a level playing field now. It’s always hard to be on the bottom of a classification than on the top of the classification.

“Now, just because you drop in classification doesn’t mean you’re going to win. We still have to do the coaching and work that it takes to win games.”

Hirschi is also dropping a division, as expected, moving to Class 4A Division II for football. However, it means the Coyotes and Huskies will be in the same district in all other sports.

Rider will remain in Class 5A and Division II for football. But the classic crosstown showdown between the Raiders and Coyotes should not be in danger of disappearing. Both coaches had been preparing for this possibility.

“(Rider coach Marc Bindel) and I will talk in the near future,” Freeman said. “We’re both very cognizant of what that rivalry and its tradition means to the school district and city.”

Traditionally when Rider and Old High haven’t been in the same district, the game was played in Week 1. That was the case when the two were split from 1990-97.

This is the last scheduled realignment for Old High, Rider and Hirschi. Old High will be closed with the other two transitioned into junior highs as WFISD opens two new high schools in 2024.

The Coyotes will join Burkburnett in Class 4A Division I. It’s the first time WFHS and Burk have been in the same district since 2005.

The Bulldogs were expected to be on the line to potentially drop to Division II but made the cut to stay up by nine students. How the rest of that football district will look is a big question.

It’s possible the 4-4A Division I district with Burk, Decatur and Springtown replaces Hirschi and Gainesville with WFHS and Mineral Wells. A sixth team, potentially Lake Worth again, would likely fill out the district.

Hirschi’s districting situation raises more questions. The Huskies will likely be teamed with Graham in 4A Division II, but Iowa Park and Vernon are dropping to Class 3A, eliminating two obvious district mates. The Hawks and Lions will compete at Class 3A Division I, likely to be pulled into a district with Panhandle programs.

Another surprise drop from the UIL’s cutoff numbers is Nocona, which like Old High is dropping in classification by a single student. The Indians turned in a number of 249, making them one of the largest Class 2A programs in the state.

On the flip side of that number, Seymour (164) and Quanah (163) are barely under the 2A divisional cutoff of 165.5, leaving the Panthers and Indians in Division II.

Two local teams in the six-man ranks are also dropping a division. Newcastle (54) and Crowell (52) are headed to Class A Division II, coming in under the 59.5 divisional cutoff.

Electra (93) and Munday (73) have numbers that qualify them to play six-man football for a second straight realignment, but both programs will opt up to Class 2A Division II and continue to play 11-man.

The only local program moving up a division in football is Olney (202), which moved from Class 2A Division II to Class 2A Division I.

CLASSIFICATION BREAKDOWN

Class 6A – 2,225 and up

Class 5A – 1,300 to 2,224

Class 4A – 545 to 1,299

Class 3A – 250 to 544

Class 2A – 105 to 249

Class A – 104.9 and below

FOOTBALL DIVISION BREAKDOWN

Class 5A Division I – 1,925 to 2,224

Class 5A Division II – 1,300 to 1,924

Class 4A Division I – 880 to 1,299

Class 4A Division II – 545 to 879

Class 3A Division I – 360 to 544

Class 3A Division II – 250 to 359

Class 2A Division I – 164.5 to 249

Class 2A Divisioin II – 105 to 165.4

Class A Division I – 59.5 to 104.9

Class A Division II – 59.4 and below

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: UIL CLASSIFICATION CUTOFF NUMBERS: WFHS dropping to Class 4A

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