The dream of a Hays County high school district is deferred for at least another two years after the University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced its biennial alignments for 2010-12.
But none of the local school athletic honchos is likely to complain about the new alignments after the 2008 effort produced such strange results.
The new alignments are more in keeping with recent history, as San Marcos moved up to Class 5A in a district north of San Antonio. Meanwhile, Hays is back in the same Class 4A district as Alamo Heights and Smithson Valley for the first time in ten years, while Wimberley returns closer to home in a Class 3A Hill Country district.
Climbing past the Class 5A minimum of 2,065 students, San Marcos goes to District 25-5A. Joining the Rattlers in making the move up from District 27-4A to District 25-5A are Cibolo Steele and Seguin. Converse Judson, Wagner and New Braunfels complete the six-team district.
With San Marcos, Steele and Seguin moving up to Class 5A, their positions in District 27-4A were opened to Hays and Lehman, who return to the Interstate-35 corridor after the 2008 alignment put them in District 17-4A out east on U.S 290. It was in District 27-4A where the Rebels once did battle with Clemens, New Braunfels Canyon and Smithson Valley, winning that district in 1998. Lehman wasn’t around then, but it is now, moving to District 27-4A with Hays. Alamo Heights and Lockhart round out the seven-team district.
Dripping Springs received no favors in the new alignment, which puts the Tigers right back in District 25-4A with three-time defending state champion Lake Travis. The only other school holding over in that district is Marble Falls. One replacement, Cedar Park, drops down from Class 5A after establishing that it can play with the big schools north of Austin. The district also includes a couple new varsity programs — Austin Vandegrift and Leander House.
Wimberley returns from two years of Region I to Region III in District 26-3A. Along with Wimberley, the district includes Bandera, Boerne (returning to action after two years), Canyon Lake, Fredericksburg, Geronimo Navarro and San Antonio Hawkins (in basketball only).
Leading up to the 2008 alignment, just when many figured most of the Hays County high schools would be in Class 4A — including San Marcos, Hays, Lehman and Dripping Springs — the prospect for a local conference loomed strong.
Instead, Hays County came up as a fault line in UIL geography when the alignment pushed Hays and Lehman towards Houston, sent Dripping Springs to the northwest of Austin and placed San Marcos in a football district stretching as far into the Hill Country as Boerne and Kerrville.
San Marcos petitioned to be moved into the same district as Hays and Lehman, which the UIL granted for every sport except football.