Burnett, Lions eagerly await UIL realignment
“It's about three or four hours of mass chaos, that's for sure.”
Those were the sentiments of Brownwood Lions head football coach and athletic director Sammy Burnett in anticipation of Monday morning's release of the UIL's biennial realignment.
The waiting game for the Lions, and the rest of the high school athletic programs in the state of Texas, ends at 9 a.m. Monday when the districts for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years are revealed.
Since the end of the high school football season, Burnett has been attempting to piece together a pre-district schedule that could very well blow up once the revamped districts are announced. However, the road to the postseason and the program's bid for an eighth state title will become clearer as the Lions learn their district and regional foes.
Based on Brownwood's geographic location, chances are the Lions could venture west to Region I, head north or east and remain in Region II, or be shipped south to be a part of Region IV in Class 4A Division I.
“I've been doing this long enough to not guess,” Burnett said. “We have coaches going to all areas to make sure we get our schedule filled. Sometimes you think you've got it worked out and it falls apart and sometimes you think it's all going to fall apart and it works out. We'll see how it turns out.
“I hope we go Region I. I think that will be better for us right now with where we are in our program. If we're in Region II we're going to keep doing what we do, or we could be down there in Region IV with Lampasas, Fredericksburg, and Burnet. If that happens it's really going to mss up our pre-district schedule.”
The Lions' pre-district schedule, barring changes created by realignment, currently features games against Lampasas, Midland Greenwood, Graham, Burnet, Abilene Wylie and Stephenville in that order. Plans are for the Lions to scrimmage Salado and Godley.
However, some of that schedule will likely change come Monday.
“It's difficult to schedule pre-district games honestly because you may be in that district,” Burnett said. “Right now we have Lampasas and Burnet on the schedule, but if we go that direction we have to fill those two games. It's hard to schedule anything toward Springtown and Decatur and out west there's Big Spring and San Angelo Lake View to worry about. We're sort of stuck in a tough spot. Then you can mention some of those names, but not all those teams want to play you.”
The Lions coaching staff will be at three different venues Monday in an effort to fill the pre-district schedule in the event vacancies are created.
“Coach (David) Jones and Coach (Chase) Adams are heading to Lubbock,” Burnett said. “We feel we can get some schools that may have smaller districts that are looking for later season games from that area. Coach (Brett) Mouser and myself are headed to Round Rock because we can think we can get some draws from Region IV. There's a lot of 4A Division I and 4A Division II teams we think we may be able to catch games with if we go west. Coach (Andy) Howard and Coach (Bryan) Clark are going to Waco. We've always been able to pull from that area if need be. We thought about going to Birdville but it's difficult to get the Metroplex schools to come to Brownwood so we've opted to go northwest, south and east.”