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UIL Realignment Rekindles Crosstown Rivalry for Boyd and MHS, Brings New Foes for North

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

McKinney, Texas – Now that the dust has settled on the highly anticipated 2016–2018 UIL district realignment, McKinney High School and McKinney North High School find themselves in new surroundings, while the landscape for McKinney Boyd High School remains familiar.

Moving up a classification from 5A to 6A is MHS who join the Broncos in Region I District 6–6A. For MHS Head Football Coach Jeff Smith, the move up to 6A brings new challenges, but also great opportunity.

Map with push pins and colored ribbons

The 2016-2018 UIL realignment brought a couple of surprises for McKinney ISD athletics.

“We have seen significant growth in all of our athletic programs, and we believe we are ready for this jump into 6A,” says Smith. “We have been preparing for this moment for the last couple of years, and I have to say that our athletes are excited about the challenge and the opportunity to play against these other great schools and programs. There is no bigger stage in Texas than the 6A level, and it will be very exciting in each and every sport.”

One thing is certain; the competition in an already tough 6–6A hasn’t gotten any easier. That district loses the Lewisville ISD schools with the reshuffle but retains Allen and the three teams from Plano ISD. MHS, along with Wylie and surprise addition Denton Guyer round out a very strong eight team district.

“Realignment went pretty much like I expected with the exception of Denton Guyer being added,” says Boyd Head Football Coach Don Drake. “I did not expect their placement due to the proximity of the rest of the schools that make up the district. It will be a very competitive district again for us in all sports, but we look forward to that. Our athletes are confident and excited about the opportunity to once again compete against the schools that we have been paired with for the majority of our time in the state’s largest classification. We’ve experienced much success in 6A and prefer the level of competition that we’ve been placed with.”

MHS’ move to 6–6A rekindles the crosstown rivalry with Boyd, a team they haven’t faced since 2013. “Over the past several years we have gone back and forth with our cross-town games between Boyd and North,” says Smith. “Each and every one of those games is always great for our community, and the kids really enjoy competing against each other.”

“Renewing our rivalry with MHS will be exciting, and we look forward to once again competing with the Lions,” adds Drake.

As far as Boyd and MHS are concerned, MISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt is satisfied with where they landed, although, like Drake, he found the inclusion of Denton Guyer a bit unexpected. The realignment process is guided initially by classification (1A – 6A), but once a school’s classification is determined, UIL tries to group teams geographically. And, Guyer is definitely an outlier on the map.
“Bringing Guyer over here was very surprising. Obviously, these are familiar foes in 6-6A—Allen and the three Plano schools,” Pratt says. “Those are the four largest schools in the state of Texas, and then you have Wylie coming up with McKinney High School. But, the Guyer thing is what surprised us.

“This district is still very similar to what it was,” Pratt continues. “They pulled the Lewisville schools out which were really good in a lot of different sports and added Guyer, McKinney and Wylie. That nine-team district they were in was just a black-and-blue, beat-you-up-in-every-sport district. So, we can’t be too upset about that.”

For the Bulldogs of McKinney North, the realignment brings an almost entirely new set of opponents as they move from Region II 10–5A to 14–5A, accompanied only by Prosper. That outcome was another somewhat unexpected turn of events, but North Head Football Coach Mike Fecci is taking the alignment overhaul in stride.

“We are happy with where the realignment has taken us,” says Fecci. “It will require a little bit of travel, but it also will be fun and exciting for our kids to get to play against teams that we have not played in a long time.”

North will now compete with all three Carrollton schools, Lake Dallas, The Colony, Little Elm and the aforementioned Prosper over the next two years. Gone are the Wylie ISD schools, Lovejoy, Denison and Sherman.

With every realignment, coaches and athletic directors plan for a variety of possible outcomes. That said, North’s placement was a bit out of left field for Pratt.

“That one surprised us a little bit,” Pratt says. “We did not have North in any scenarios with any of those schools. We did figure that we would be in there with Prosper again, but we thought it would look more like what we were in before. But, I think it’s a good district. We’re very similar to them in a lot of ways, so I think it worked out pretty well.

“But, here’s the deal—even if we didn’t think that, it’s there, so we better accept it and move on.”

Beyond the district groupings for the three MISD high schools, there is tough competition everywhere you turn in Region I for MHS and Boyd and in Region II for North.

“The first thing you look at is the district,” says Pratt, “but then you look at the region you’re in and what the competition looks like beyond the district, and both McKinney Boyd and McKinney High in 6A and McKinney North in 5A are probably in the toughest regions in the entire state in their classifications. But, that is fairly common here in the metroplex. Everything up here is very competitive.”

In other words, the road ahead will not be an easy one.

But, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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