Sweetwater, Snyder will resume district rivalry in football due to realignment

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

The Sweetwater-Snyder rivalry will heat up a bit more after Thursday’s news that the Mustangs and Tigers have been placed in the same football district starting with the 2018-19 school year.

While the two schools are currently in the same district in other team sports — baseball, basketball, golf, softball, tennis, track and volleyball — they will now also be in the same football district for the first time since 2013, thanks to the University Interscholastic League’s biennial realignment which was announced on Thursday.

Sweetwater and Snyder will be joined by five other current football members of District 2-4A, Division II — Fort Stockton, Greenwood, Lamesa, Monahans and Pecos — in what will be District 1-4A, D-II. Seminole, the other member of Sweetwater’s current district, will become part of District 2-4A, D-I with Andrews, Big Spring and San Angelo Lake View after seeing its enrollment climb just above the cutoff for Class 4A, D-II.

Just the opposite happened for Snyder, which for the past four years has been in District 3-4A, D-I with Abilene Wylie, Big Spring, Brownwood and Stephenville. However, the Tigers have maintained their football rivalry with Sweetwater since 2013 by playing non-district games against the Mustangs.

Sweetwater head football coach and athletic director Ben McGehee has tentatively scheduled non-district games against Cisco, Big Spring, Wichita Falls Hirschi and Iowa Park, as well as preseason scrimmages with Midland Christian and Lubbock Coronado.

Sweetwater and Snyder were also placed by the UIL in the same basketball district —5-4A — for at least the next two years along with Big Spring, Greenwood and Lake View. The current 5-4A district, in addition to Sweetwater and Snyder, includes Big Spring, Brownwood and Abilene Wylie in basketball as well as all other team sports except football.
The UIL realignment didn’t affect just Sweetwater.Roscoe, Highland and Blackwell all saw changes to their districts in both football and basketball.Roscoe will participate for at least the next two school years in District 7-2A, Division II along with two other teams — Hamlin and Roby — from its current 4-2A, D-II district. Albany, Baird, Cross Plains and Haskell will also be in the district. Roscoe’s current district also includes Seagraves, Plains and Tahoma.
Jake Freeman, Roscoe’s head coach, has tentatively scheduled non-district games for the next two years against Hawley, Stamford, Miles and Munday. The Plowboys are also moving from Region I to Region 2.
Roscoe’s basketball district will still be known as 8-2A, but Anson and Hamlin are leaving and only one school — Cross Plains — is moving in. Albany, Haskell, Hawley and Stamford are the other current 8-2A schools who will remain with Roscoe.
It was known Highland and Blackwell would be in both separate districts and divisions with the announcement in December that Highland was moving up to 1A, Division I. So Highland was moved to District 8-1A, D-I with Garden City, Sterling City, Water Valley and Westbrook. Blackwell will be moving to District 6-1A, Division II with Trent, Loraine and Moran in football for the next two years.
Highland’s basketball district will be known as 13-1A instead of the current 12-1A, but will still also include Hermleigh, Ira, Loraine and Westbrook. Trent will move into the new district, replacing Borden County. Blackwell will switch from 14-1A to 11-1A, but will still be paired with Bronte, Robert Lee, Sterling City, Veribest and Water Valley plus a newcomer, Irion County, which replaces Garden City.