Non-football district will also present challenges for Brownwood
The University Interscholastic League revealed its athletic alignments for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years Thursday morning, and the Brownwood Lions and Lady Lions are headed east.
In football, the Lions are moving to Region II in Class 4A Division I and will be housed in District 5 along with rival Stephenville, Gatesville, China Spring and Waco La Vega.
“I think it's pretty easy to recognize that this is one of the toughest, if not the toughest five-team district in the state of Texas in our division,” said Lions head football coach Kyle Maxfield. “All five teams are playoff teams. China Spring, La Vega and Stephenville have all made deep runs recently, we're capable of making a run and Gatesville was strong last year. You have four or five perennial powers that any given year could win it all.”
Though most of the foes have changed, with the exception of Stephenville, Brownwood will continue its recent trend of competing in a five-team district. That has caused scheduling issues in the past, including a nine-game schedule in 2016 that was reduced to eight regular season outings due to weather.
“It's frustrating but we're used to it,” said Maxfield, who had Brownwood's schedule tentatively mapped out late Thursday morning.
The Lions will open district play at Gatesville in Week 7, then are tentatively slated to face Andrews in Week 8 in non-district action. Brownwood resumes play against District 5 rivals in Week 9 as Stephenville visits followed by a trip to La Vega and the regular season and home finale against China Spring.
Tentative pre-district opponents include Brock, Snyder, Graham, Wichita Falls Rider, and Abilene Wylie in that order. The Lions are also slated to scrimmage Liberty Hill and Burnet.
Not only are the Lions in a new district, but a new region, as the move to Region II — with the DFW Metroplex in the center of the region — could make advancement in the playoffs more difficult.
The remaining three leagues in Region II are District 6 — the bi-district round foes — which consists of Kennedale, Lake Worth, River Oaks Castleberry and Benbrook, Dunbar, Western Hills and Diamond Hill Jarvis out of the Fort Worth ISD; District 7, which features Anna, Argyle, Celina, Melissa, Paris, Paris North Lamar and Sanger; and District 8, which houses Alvarado, Carrollton Ranchview, North Dallas and Carter, Hillcrest, Hutchins and Pinkston out of the Dallas ISD.
“It definitely affects the first-round playoff game if you don't finish in the top three because Kennedale played for the state championship and they're probably the favorite in District 6,” Maxfield said. “But if you finish in the top three, I don't really see a difference.”
In non-football sports, the Lions and Lady Lions will remain in Region I in the new District 7 and battle Glen Rose, Godley, Mineral Wells, and Stephenville in league play.
“It's definitely a change and I wasn't expecting us to go in that direction,” said Brownwood High School girls athletic coordinator Heather Hohertz-Perez. “I think it will be a well-rounded district and very competitive.”
Brownwood Lions 2018 tentative football schedule
First Scrimmage: Liberty Hill (location TBD)
Second Scrimmage: Burnet (location TBD)
Week 1: Brock (location TBD)
Week 2: Snyder (location TBD)
Week 3: Graham (location TBD)
Week 4: Wichita Falls Rider (location TBD)
Week 5: Abilene Wylie (location TBD)
Week 6: OPEN
Week 7: at Gatesville (district)
Week 8: Andrews (location TBD)
Week 9 vs. Stephenville (district)
Week 10: at Waco La Vega (district)
Week 11: vs. China Spring (district)
*non-district games could change