Highland Park will have an entirely new set of district opponents in almost every sport for the next two years.
Instead of looking north and east, the Scots can now look south and west to find their new rivals after the UIL released its biennial realignment on Thursday.
In football, HP is in District 6-5A, Division I, in which the Scots are grouped with Lancaster, Mansfield Legacy, Mansfield Timberview, and four Dallas ISD schools: Bryan Adams, Samuell, Sunset, and Woodrow Wilson.
In basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and track, the new District 11-5A includes HP along with three Carrollton ISD schools (Creekview, Newman Smith, and R.L. Turner) and four Dallas ISD schools (Bryan Adams, Conrad, Thomas Jefferson, and Woodrow Wilson).
The football draw is favorable for the Scots, primarily because of the relative lack of travel involved to road games. The competition level will generally be strong for the two-time defending state champions, however, as Lancaster is a perennial 5A power and Legacy nearly knocked off HP in the Region II final in 2016. Timberview pushed the Scots to the wire during the regular season a year ago, and Woodrow Wilson is almost always among the top teams in DISD.
Class 5A Division I Region II also will be a gauntlet in the playoffs, with the Frisco schools, Mesquite Poteet, Tyler John Tyler, Lufkin, and College Station among those looming as possible early-round opponents.
The district announcement means the Scots should be able to finalize their 2018 football schedule in the coming days. They already have tentatively set a difficult nondistrict slate that includes Rockwall, Mesquite Horn, and Frisco Lone Star.
The new district alignments cover the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. Alignments for other UIL sports such as soccer, swimming, and wrestling will be released later this spring.