Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

Representatives of local school districts from across Region 3, which includes local schools Bridge City, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Orangefield, Vidor and West Orange-Stark, look over information for the latest University Interscholastic League’s realignment for athletics on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in the Capital One building in downtown Beaumont.

By Tommy Mann Jr.

The Record

The biennial UIL Realignment meeting arrived on Thursday (Feb. 1, 2018) and local school districts received the news they had been waiting on since fall of 2017, following the submission of enrollment snapshot figures.

The biggest change for the five school districts in Orange County is to the Orangefield Independent School District, as the district will now participate in Class 3A Division I, dropping down from Class 4A Division 2.

For football the Bobcats will now be part of District 12 in Region. The new district is comprised of eight teams, which includes Anahuac, Buna, Hardin, Kirbyville, Warren, East Chambers and Woodville, along with Orangefield.

According to Josh Smalley, Athletic Director and head football coach at Orangefield ISD, the Bobcats non-district football schedule will include games against Livingston, Shepherd and KIPP Generational

All other sports district alignments for Orangefield, such as volleyball and basketball, will be in District 22 in Region 3 and will include the same teams, except Woodville, which moves to District 21. Kountze will be included in District 22 to comprise an eight-team district.

West Orange-Stark will remain in a five-team district as part of District 10 in Class 4A Division 2 and continue to compete against previous district opponents Hamshire-Fannett, Hardin-Jefferson and Liberty. Silsbee has dropped down from Division 1 and will round out the football district.

According to Cornel Thompson, Athletic Director and head football coach for West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, the Mustangs non-district football schedule will consist of games against Nederland, Jasper, Bridge City and the annual Orange Bowl matchup against Little Cypress-Mauriceville.

The Mustangs, along with the Bridge City Cardinals and LC-M Battlin’ Bears, will be in the same districts for all sports other than football. That district, the newly formed District 22, will also include Hamshire-Fannett, Hardin-Jefferson, Lumberton and Silsbee.

Bridge City and Little Cypress-Mauriceville, as far as football goes, will be part of the new District 11 Division 1. Joining the Cardinals and Bears in football will be Huffman Hargrave, Livingston, Lumberton and Splendora.

Bridge City’s non-district schedule, according to Dwayne DuBois, BCISD Athletic Director and head football coach, will include games against Diboll, Jasper, Silsbee and West Orange-Stark, and one game still to be determined.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville, according to Randy Crouch, Athletic Director and head football coach of LC-M CISD, has scheduled games against Woodville, Jasper, Hardin-Jefferson and West Orange-Stark. The Bears also have one game to still be determined.

Class 5A has made the change to split into two divisions for the next two years, as do the lower classifications, and Vidor will now be part of the smaller school bracket in Class 5A Division 2.

The Pirates will join Nederland and Port Neches-Groves in the newly formed District 12 and will doing a lot of traveling in the next two football seasons, as they compete against teams from Barbers Hill, Baytown Lee, Crosby, Dayton, and Santa Fe.

According to Jeff Mathews, the Vidor ISD Athletic Director and head football coach, the Pirates non-district schedule will feature games against Montgomery, Houston Sharpstown and Conroe Caney Creek.

In all other sports, Vidor will be in District 21, along with Nederland and Port Neches-Groves. The seven-team district will be rounded out by Barbers Hill, Cleveland, Dayton and Port Arthur Memorial.