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Football: UIL to split 5A

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017
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Conference 5A will join the lower four conferences with split divisions in football, starting in 2018.

The University Interscholastic League announced the change approved by 5A superintendents Thursday. The conference superintendents approved the change that divides the level’s schools in half based on enrollment by a 144-77 vote. Currently in 5A and 6A football, schools compete in districts with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs – the largest two going Division I.

Northwest and Eaton are currently in 5A.

Northwest Executive Athletic Director Joel Johnson said the district did not support the split division format for 5A.

“We voted to keep it as is,” Johnson said. “With us, it was more of the thought of the unknown. When you have two schools in 5A, there’s a possibility that they could be in different districts for football.”

Johnson said based off projected enrollments, Eaton should fall in the upper tier and Northwest could be right on the bubble of being Division I or II.

He also pointed out that the change will move football teams into different leagues than the campuses’ other sports.

“That adds to the number of district policies and meetings,” Johnson said.

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