The UIL is introducing a third classification for soccer competition, and Stephenville girls head coach Casey Weil says that's good news for SHS.
"Size-wise this is where we belong," said Weil, who has never missed the playoffs at Stephenville and won't the next two years. "There won't be any big schools from Mansfield or Denton in our way."
Stephenville's boys and girls will be in District 4-4A next season, which is the equivalent of being in 3A with the UIL's new nomenclature changes. Current 5A schools will be in 6A starting in 2014-15, while current 4A schools will compete in 5A.
Joining Stephenville in 4-4A are Abilene Wylie, Brownwood and Mineral Wells. It's a four-team district, with four from each league advancing to the playoffs. Members of the district will likely face off three times each to help with adequate scheduling.
In the past, 3A schools competing in soccer were lumped in with Class 4A. Stephenville's girls were the last 3A team standing in the 2013 4A playoffs. They reached the regional round before being eliminated by state champ Denton Guyer.
The Honeybees were eliminated in bi-district this season by Mansfield Lake Ridge. Like Guyer, Lake Ridge will compete in 5A next year.
The Yellow Jackets also made it to the regional quarterfinals last season before running into Birdville. This year, Stephenville's boys were bounced by Fort Worth Trimble Tech in the area round. Birdville and Trimble Tech will both be 5A next year, as well.