The University Interscholastic League’s biennial district realignment, released Monday, has several notable changes in store for Stephenville.
But one thing that isn’t changing is how challenging the district football slate will be for the next two years.
Coach Sterling Doty’s Yellow Jackets remain in District 5-4A (still in Region I), but the new alignment will expand it to six schools instead of five. Stephenville’s football district still includes longtime rival Brownwood, plus perennial powerhouse Waco La Vega, but has gained Alvarado, Midlothian Heritage and Waxahachie Life School.
La Vega was the 2018 state champion, and was once again highly ranked last season — as were Brownwood and Heritage. In its District 9-4A alignment, Heritage was 4-0, second to 5-0 Crandall, and was 9-5 overall.
Stephenville’s district for volleyball and basketball has changed from District 7-4A to District 6-4A. The new alignment for those two sports includes Lampasas and Gatesville, but still features Brownwood and Glen Rose. The current District 7-4A lineup has Godley, Mineral Wells, Brownwood and Glen Rose along with Stephenville.
The non-district football opponents for the next two years are not yet available. The Jackets had played a nine-game regular-season schedule the last two years, with two open dates, but that should change to 10 because there will be five district games instead of four.
SHS had been playing Heritage in non-district football. Last season, on Sept. 20, the Jackets lost a 33-29 decision on the road to the Jaguars.
The past two years, District 5-4A football had featured China Spring and Gatesville. Both of those schools dropped down to Class 4A Division II, and both will be in District 9 along with Jarrell, Robinson, Salado and Waco Connally.
Stephenville finished third in the final district football standings (2-2, 6-5 overall), behind La Vega (4-0, 14-2) and Brownwood (3-1, 11-2). China Spring (1-3, 4-8) finished fourth and Gatesville (0-4, 0-10) was fifth.