Highland Park’s football team has a lot of travel in its immediate future.
For the next two seasons, the Scots will be included in a football-only district that includes both Longview — almost 150 miles to the east — and Sherman, which is more than 60 miles to the north.
Other teams in the new District 7-5A (Div. I) include McKinney North, Tyler John Tyler, West Mesquite, and Wylie East. The seven-team league was unveiled on Monday as the UIL completed its biennial realignment process.
That means HP will not be paired with any of the seven rivals from the most recent realignment cycle. Instead, the Scots are included in a geographically scattered league (here’s a map to show how it compares travel-wise to other Class 5A Division I districts throughout the state) that also should be competitive from a football standpoint.
Longview won the Class 6A Division II state title in 2018. McKinney North won 10 games last season. Tyler and Sherman are perennial playoff teams. Such opponents will elevate the overall quality of the schedule for the Scots, who were in a top-heavy district during each of the past two years.
A few other quick notes about the new district, with more analysis coming later:
- HP will play four nondistrict games during each of the next two seasons, and will have its bye week during district play, as dictated by the odd number of teams. The full 2020 schedule will be finalized in the coming days.
- Potential playoff travel (and competition) could be even more grueling. The first round of the playoffs would match HP’s district against a very solid 8-5A, which consists of teams from College Station, Conroe, Lufkin, Magnolia, New Caney, and Waller.
- Elsewhere in Region II, Denton Ryan and Frisco Lone Star — who met in the state semifinals last season — have been grouped together in 5-5A. The region also includes Lancaster, Lufkin, College Station, and Magnolia.