The UIL announced new realignment numbers over the past week, and the Llano Yellowjackets will move from 4-A to 3-A in classification. Llano High School has had a high of about 535 kids in the four grades over the past 6 years, to a low of 494 kids, the number Llano turned in to the UIL in this past October. The low number, or cut off line for 4-A, Division II announced was 515. The Jackets fall under that number, thus the move to the Class 3AAA, Division I.
So…where to go from here? The UIL will announce in the first few days of this coming February the new district in which Llano will play in over the next two years. All sports, both girls and boys will participate in the new district. Speculation is fun, and everyone has an opinion of where Llano could be placed. So, I will give some options that the UIL will make their decisions from.
We could go to any of the three districts listed below, or, the UIL could create a new district out of teams that seem in a displaced location, or to even up the number of teams in a district.
3-3AAA, Div. I: 10- 3AAA, Div. 1 15-3AAA, Div. 1
Wall Cameron Jourdanton
Eastland Rockdale Marion
Jim Ned Troy U.C. Randolph
Breckenridge Little River Academy San/A Cole
Clyde Jarrell Cotulla
Other changes could come into play. Comfort is also now classified 3 AAA, Division I. They too could move into one of these districts. Most speculation sees the Jackets moving into the eastern district, 10-3AAA. Manor Tech moved our of 10-3AAA, up to 4 AAAA, so that leaves an uneven number there. 6 teams in a district is ideal, so everyone has 5 district games.
Travel is some consideration, but do not think it is heavily weighed by the UIL, as two years ago “our district” took in Cuero, a good 110 miles trip. I’m sure Cuero did not like it either. Cameron is 129 miles from Llano. Rockdale 111 miles. Troy 110 miles. Going West, Eastland is 136 miles. Breckenridge is 158 miles. Jim Ned 145 miles. Going South, Karnes City is 162 miles. Cotulla 194 miles!!! So, going east might be easier on kids and families traveling late basketball nights.
In State play-offs going on today, of the above teams, only Troy is still playing. For many years, this 3-AAA district has been one of the strongest. Cameron and Rockdale both have won state championships over the past few years. Troy may this year.
The Llano girls programs may benefit the most by moving to 3AAA. Having to play the likes of Liberty Hill in past years has been tough. Liberty Hill turned in over 1,300 kids in the four grades. 2 1/2 times more than Llano. Now the Panthers move up to Class 5 AAAAA. Wimberley moves to Division I. Likely back into district with Burnet and Lampasas.
So, speculate all you like…but come February, we all will know. And a new challenge will face the Jackets.
Next week will talk some on the returning players for the 2020 season.