A Tale of Two Cities: UIL Realignment Moves Sonora South, Wall North
SAN ANGELO, TX—When Wall Head Football Coach Houston Guy opened up his realignment packet on Thursday he couldn’t help but crack a smile when he saw his Hawks had been aligned in District 3-3A Division 1 with the likes of Breckenridge (5-6), Eastland (8-5) and Tuscola Jim Ned (9-3), all teams in relatively close proximity of Wall.
“I thought we’d be out west just to make a five or six team district out there,” Guy said. “I had Eastland as game one. We opened up that packet and saw we were moved to district 3. It’s nice from a mileage standpoint. It’s full of teams that can win the district. Most of them were playoff teams. You can’t take a week off. If you slip up you could lose the district title. Our district is even.”
When Sonora Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jeff Cordell opened his realignment packet on Thursday he saw that his Broncos had been aligned to the south in Region 4 District 13 with Blanco (5-6), Brady (0-10), Comfort (2-8), Ingram Moore (2-8) and Johnson City (6-4).
“I was shocked,” Cordell said. “We had planned on going out west or maybe even to the north. I didn’t expect to be separated from Grape Creek and TLCA because of the proximity. But that’s why they say to expect the unexpected with UIL realignment. [District 13] is a competitive district. It’s going to make for a good district. Whoever the 4 teams are will represent well.”
Coach Guy was taken aback from southern move for Sonora.
“It was surprising,” Guy said. “I don’t think they’ve ever been considered south by the UIL.”
Despite the move to Region 4, the Broncos and Hawks will see each other in week 4 as both coaches confirmed.
“It’s good for our kids, it’s good for our program,” Guy said. “We wouldn’t get much out of playing a team that we would beat by 40 or 50 points. It’s going to be all hands on deck. You’re going to get exploited in district play if you don’t prepare your guys in non-district.”
“Coach Guy and his program do a tremendous job,” Cordell praised. "I think it will be a big draw for both towns and it'll be nice to restart that rivalry."
The two coaches had held talks about wanting to schedule each other in the fall of 2017, but were not sure how things would work out with this year's realignment.
The Broncos and Hawks will also welcome 2A Division 1 powerhouse Mason to their non-district schedule.
“Coach Kade Burns at Mason is the same way [as Coach Guy],” Cordell said. “Those are the caliber teams you’re going to play in playoffs. Year in and year out they’re considered perennial powers. It’s good small town football.”
“Our preseason is a pretty salty one,” Coach Guy said with a chuckle. In addition to Mason and Sonora, the Hawks will face Cisco and 4A Division 1 foe Big Spring in non-district play.