Tag Archives: Tascosa High

UIL biennial shuffle will never end

The Texas University Interscholastic League has finished its biennial shuffling of high schools’ extracurricular activities league.

I guess the big news in Amarillo is that Amarillo High and Tascosa High have been put back into the same district. This time it’s a newly configured Class 6A district. They’ll be cutting the travel time that caused apoplexy among THS parents and boosters the past two years. Good deal, I reckon.

Since I didn’t have kids enrolled in either school, I didn’t exactly have a dog in that fight. Some folks were upset that their kids had to travel so far to play some sports or take part in cheerleading or marching band activities. That’s all done — for the next years at least.

Some of the smaller high schools in the Panhandle weren’t so fortunate. They’re having to travel greater distances, but since they’re out there in the country anyway, those AHS and THS parents and boosters won’t get so exercised over their plight. We’ll leave it to those local parents to raise a ruckus with the UIL.

I’m one of those who wishes the UIL would leave these alignments alone for longer periods of time. The two-year flirtation with separating two rival schools — AHS and THS — and placing them in separate enrollment classes and districts didn’t set well with football purists in Amarillo.

I get that. What I don’t get is why the UIL has to mess with this alignment so frequently. Don’t the folks at the UIL headquarters have any feeling for the headaches these constant changes cause among local school district athletic directors, superintendents, principals, coaches, students — and oh yes, those testy parents?

What’s the answer? I’d start with lengthening the realignment schedule to once every four years. Build in a little bit of stability to extracurricular programs. Save some hassles, headaches and heartburn along the way.

And leave the kids alone.

UIL mixes up the pot some more

It now appears Amarillo and Tascosa high schools are heading for a new classification under the University Interscholastic League sphere of things.

They’re joining the new Class 6A. That will put them in the same classification as, say, Allen High School — the beastly school that keeps winning state high school football championships.

More on Allen High in a moment.

Amarillo went from 5A to 4A two years ago. Tascosa remained in 5A and was placed in a district that required tremendous amounts of travel time and distance. The time kids were spending on buses to take part in extracurricular events didn’t set well with some parents. I don’t recall hearing too much griping from students, but Moms and Dads were highly ticked off about it.

We’ll see what the latest realignment will do to Amarillo’s four public high schools. AHS and THS join the big schools. Caprock and Palo Duro appear headed for a new 5A classification.

It all would be enough to make my head spin — if I had any kids or grandkids enrolled in school here. My interest is only on the fringes. My wife and I moved here as our sons were finishing college. They went to high school in Beaumont. One of my sons was active in band and marched Friday nights throughout East Texas. The farthest he traveled I believe was to Lufkin, about a two-hour drive north into the Piney Woods.

Back to this 6A matter. AHS and THS, each with a little more than 2,100 students, now will get to compete against some really big schools. I mention Allen because one of my grandsons attends that school, north of Dallas. Enrollment there is about, oh, Six Grand. That’s 6,000 students attending school on an enormous campus.

Is it fair to throw all these schools into this super-classification? We’ll find out soon enough.

It’s always intrigued me, though, how the UIL has to tinker so frequently with these classifications, just as the Texas Education Agency feels the need to monkey around with the school calendar every year. Back in my day — holy mackerel, I sound like my dad — the school year started the first Tuesday after Labor Day and ended around June 10.

The UIL, however, seems incapable of keeping its hands off of students’ and parents’ lives.

Good luck on this latest switch. See you guys in two years.