Since joining the University Interscholastic League in 2004, Jesuit has qualified for the football playoffs in 11 of 14 seasons, including the last eight in a row.
That streak could be in jeopardy next season, through no fault of the Rangers themselves. The UIL did Jesuit no favors during its biennial realignment, the results of which were released on Thursday.
For the next two seasons, the Rangers will be in District 9-6A alongside McKinney, McKinney Boyd, Plano, Plano East, Plano West, Prosper, and defending state champion Allen.
Combine that with a nondistrict schedule that tentatively includes Arlington, DeSoto, and Wylie, and Jesuit might have the most difficult 10-game slate of any team in the state in 2018.
The new district will significantly increase the competition level for the Rangers not only in football, but also in basketball, baseball, and other sports.
Realignment always yields some surprises. Neighborhood rival W.T. White, which sits just a couple of miles to the west of Jesuit’s campus, is not only in a different district, but also in Region I instead of Region II.
The Longhorns will share District 8-6A for the next two years with Duncanville, Lake Highlands, Richardson, Richardson Berkner, Richardson Pearce, Skyline, and Molina. It will be a challenge for WTW — which was winless in 2017 — to break its decade-long playoff drought.
In Class 6A, the district alignments are the same in all sports. However, classes 5A and below are split into separate divisions for football.
That means an entirely new slate of district opponents for Hillcrest, which will be in Class 4A during the next two years because of a drop in enrollment at the school.
For football only, in District 8-4A Division I, the Panthers are grouped with Alvarado, Carrollton Ranchview, and four Dallas ISD schools — Carter, Wilmer-Hutchins, Pinkston, and North Dallas. That should be favorable to a Hillcrest squad trying to bounce back after narrowly missing the playoffs in Class 5A during each of the past two seasons.
In other sports, Hillcrest will be in a seven-team district comprised entirely of the smallest DISD schools including Carter, Wilmer-Hutchins, Pinkston, North Dallas, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. That league should provide some great boys basketball games, at the very least.