Basketball Tonight, Middle School Awards, and Mid-Winter, Part 2

Tonight, the Bulldogs will host Dallas Life Oak in district basketball. The games will start at 4:30. This is the girls last home game of the season. The senior girls will be recognized at tonight’s game.

The Middle School will be having a UIL Academic awards presentation at 2:30 this afternoon in the Middle School gym. Everyone is invited to come out and celebrate with the Middle School as they honor those students that placed in the UIL Academic competition in December. Eustace Middle School ran away with the competition and captured the overall championship!!

At Mid-Winter, not only are there general sessions with featured speakers, but smaller, breakout sessions, focusing on a variety of topics. One of the breakout sessions that I attended provided an update on UIL activities. Three of the leaders at UIL provided information about various topics. First, Dr. Charles Breithaupt, Executive Director of the UIL, made some general comments. One of the points that he emphasized was that through the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation, over $1 million in scholarships will be awarded to students this year. To be eligible to apply, a student must have participated in a UIL State Academic Meet or been recognized as an Outstanding Soloist at TSSEC at some point during their high school career. Dr. Breithaupt stated that, unfortunately, some of this scholarship money goes unclaimed each year because people do not apply. While it is not easy to make it to the state UIL Academic Meet, I believe that we certainly have students capable of meeting this challenge.

Next, Jamey Harrison, Deputy Director of UIL, spoke about some high interest areas in sports. He stated that in the next realignment, which will take place next year, there will be 6 conferences. However, he stated that the new 6A conference will not be a conference devoted to the supersized high schools in the state. Instead, the current 6-Man conference in football will become the new class 1A conference. That means that all of the other conferences will shift up one conference. The current 1A conference will move to 2A. Eustace, which is currently 2A, will move to 3A, etc. In coming years, instead of the current 3 teams to the playoffs, there will be 4 teams taken to the playoffs. There has also been some discussion about charter schools and their alignment in districts. There is a proposal that in districts with multiple high schools, that any charter school contained in that district could not play at a conference smaller than the smallest regular high school in the district. Mr. Harrison pointed out that overall, cheerleading leads to more concussions than any other sport in Texas. As such, the UIL is looking into the possibility of recognizing cheerleading as a sport. This would mean that all cheerleading programs in high schools and middle schools would be required to follow all the safety rules of the National Federation of Cheerleading. He stated that there would be a state champion in cheerleading.

Finally, Mark Cousins, Director of Athletics at UIL, provided an update on some issues related to athletics. He stated that UIL is looking into the possibility of eliminating the regional tournaments in volleyball and basketball. Instead, the teams involved in playing would schedule their own sites and dates just like they currently do for bi-district games and area games. The issue with regional tournaments is finding sites that are capable of hosting such events. Then, there is the issue of travel. Some teams find themselves having to plan overnight trips, while others can drive 30 minutes and be at the site. Dr. Cousins also spoke about the new area track meets that will be in place this year. The top four finishers in each event at district will advance to the area meet. At the area meet, the top four finishers in each event will advance to the regional meet. The area meet will be held between two districts at a mutually agreed on site.

I will provide more information and updates from Mid-Winter next week. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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