The University Interscholastic League has made sports life interesting for the Blanco Panthers, their coaches and fans for the next two years. The UIL biennial realignment for school district athletics was announced February 1. With Blanco located on the geographic dividing line between Regions 1 and 4, the UIL placed Blanco in Region 4 for football and Region 1 for basketball and all other sports. Volleyball is an exception, with this alignment to be announced by the end of February.
Holding steady at an enrollment of 315 students at Blanco High School, the school falls exactly in the middle of the 200-429 enrollment in Conference 2A schools for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. Conference 2A football will now play a split-division system. Division I enrollment limit is 293.5 to 429, while Division II is 200 to 293.
In the previous system, the top three teams made the play-offs with the largest school competing in Division I and the two smaller schools in Division II. The new plan means Blanco football will now face all “large” 2A schools in District play and the play-offs. The new 2A Region 4, District 13 will be Blanco, Comfort, Ingram, Lago Vista, Luling and Marion.
Ingram, Luling and Marion all move down from Conference 3A to 2A, making the district very competitive. Play-off travel should be reasonable for the teams and fans.
The Basketball Conference 2A alignment, however, places Blanco in Region I, District 8 for basketball, baseball, softball, track, tennis and golf. Blanco, Harper, Ingram and Junction will compete in this district. For the play-offs, travel will likely be a great distance. When Blanco was in District 8 two years ago, play-off events for Bi-District, Regional and Area were held in communities as far away as Brownwood, Abilene and San Angelo.
Even though these alignment changes will create tough situations for the schools involved, the Blanco teams will work hard and meet the challenges for the next two years.