BANGS — A new era for the Bangs Dragons is on the horizon as the 2018-19 and 2019-20 athletic districts were revealed Thursday by the University Interscholastic League, and a new head football coach and athletic director could be in place by the end of next week.

The Dragons will remain in District 4-3A Division II for football, but the league isn't quite as loaded from top to bottom as it has been the previous two seasons.

Cisco and Coleman will remain in the league along with the Dragons, while newcomers include Anson, Ballinger, Merkel, Grape Creek and San Angelo TLCA.

“Two years ago we got put into a district where every single team in our district won a lot of playoff games, and we were coming off a bad season, so we're excited about the new district,” said Bangs ISD Superintendent Tony Truelove. “Travel's not a big deal, from here to San Angelo isn't too bad. I know a lot of these guys, so it should be a good competitive district.”

In pre-district action, the Dragons are slated to face Early, Hawley and Winters.

The Dragons are currently without a head football coach, as Jim Bird resigned in December after posting a 2-27 mark in three seasons, but the position could be filled on Thursday, Feb. 8, Truelove said.

“The board is going to meet Sunday night in closed session and visit about our plan for next week,” Truelove said. “Hopefully we'll interview Tuesday and/or Wednesday and/or Thursday. We're reserving all three days for interviews and hopefully we're done by then, but if not we can always come around and do something the next week. But we'd like to be through next Thursday.”

Truelove said approximately 140 candidates have applied for the head football coach/athletic director position.

Regarding non-football sports, Bangs will compete in District 6-3A along with Early, Cisco, Coleman, Comanche, Dublin, Eastland and Hamilton.

“That makes scheduling easier because instead of having 10 district games we'll now have 14,” Truelove said. “I like the way that geographically we're pretty well centered in the district. We're very familiar with those teams and coaches and it's going to be a good, fun, competitive year.”