For the first time in 17 years, Decatur and Bridgeport will not compete in the same football district when the 2014 season rolls around.
The University Interscholastic League released the new cutoffs in its six conferences for the 2014-16 reclassification and realignment Monday.
With the creation of the new Class 6A beginning next school year, each classification moves up one, with schools competing in six-man football becoming the new Class A.
Decatur with its enrollment of 876 will fall into the new 4A which ranges from 465 to 1,059 students. For football the Eagles will be in 4A Division I, which goes from 686 to 1,059.
Bridgeport turned in an enrollment of 627 and will be in 4A Division II for football, which has a range from 465-685.
Despite not being in the same league next season, the two schools plan to keep the “Battle of Big Sandy” intact.
“We want to keep the rivalry going,” Decatur’s Director of Athletics Kyle Story said. “It’s a good game for both teams. We’ve talked before about going to different districts, and we would work it out so we could keep it going.”
The last time the two teams weren’t in the same district was 1997. It was a four-year stretch from 1994 to 1997 that the two schools weren’t in the same league.
“We always want to try to keep it going,” Bridgeport’s Director of Athletics Danny Henson said. “It’s not very often that it’s happened [not being in the same district], but we want to keep it going even though it will be a non-district game.”
The Bulls will move from one of the smallest schools in the current Class 3A, to one of the biggest schools in the new 4A Division II.
“It’s the first time we’ve been on the upper end of it,” Henson said. “It’ll be different, but it doesn’t mean the competition won’t be any harder or easier. It just gets the schools closer together numbers wise.”
The other big change involves the Alvord Bulldogs. With their enrollment of 202, they will remain in Class 2A, which ranges from 105 to 219.
For football both Alvord and Chico will play in Class 2A Division I which goes from 158 to 219. Chico sits at 185.
“It’s good news for the athletic program,” Alvord’s Director of Athletics Curtis Enis said. “I’m happy for the school district, and it allows us to go up against schools more our size.”
The numbers dictate Alvord and Chico should be able to reignite their rivalry when realignment is announced.
“We’ll see how it turns out, but that is how it used to be,” Enis said. “We should play each other. It’s a good, clean rivalry where both teams always play hard.”
Boyd and Paradise will both fall in the new 3A, which ranges from 220 to 464. Boyd turned in an enrollment of 350, and Paradise was at 337.
Both schools will compete in 3A Division I for football, which ranges from 315 to 364.
Northwest will be the first Wise County school to embark on the new Class 6A. The Texans have an enrollment of 2,763, which is easily over the 2,100 minimum for 6A.
The UIL will announce new districts Feb. 3 for football and basketball.