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UIL approves split for 5A football

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, June 17, 2017
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In the next round of realignment by the University Interscholastic League in February 2018, Class 5A will be split into two divisions for football.

The UIL Legislative Council approved the change Tuesday after a majority of superintendents voted for it. The classification will join the lower four, utilizing the split division system that places half of the schools with the largest enrollment in Division I and the other half in Division II to compete for four playoff spots. Both divisions have 16 districts each.

Previously for football, 5A and 6A had 32 districts each with the top teams in each advancing to the postseason. The larger two schools would be Division I schools and the other two would go to the Division II playoffs. Now, only 6A will have a single division for the regular season.

Northwest ISD currently has two 5A schools – Northwest and Eaton. Both are expected to stay in 5A in the next round of realignment. Schools turn in enrollment in October.

Northwest Athletic Director Joel Johnson said the district voted against the change, pointing to the fact that it will put schools in different leagues for football than the other sports.

“It’s more work for the AD and our principals when you have two districts,” Johnson said.

Based on enrollment trends, Northwest and Eaton could end up in separate 5A divisions. This year’s Northwest graduating class was the last one not affected by the opening of Eaton two years ago.

“We’ll see what our numbers are in October,” Johnson said.

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