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Sports: UIL meeting could alter playoff structure

Jun. 7—UIL meeting could affect playoffs

The Texas University Interscholastic League Executive Committee meets Tuesday inRound Rock with a proposed amendment on the agenda to the playoff structure that would impact basketball, volleyball, baseball and soccer.

If approved, the change would create two state championship brackets for those sports.

Athens Athletic Director Zac Harrell said generally it would mean smaller schools would play schools closer to their own enrollment in those sports, such as they currently do in football.

All schools in the conference would remain in their assigned district during the regular season. The top four teams would advance to the playoffs. The two advancing schools with the largest enrollments are sent into the Division 1 bracket and the two schools with the smallest enrollments would be sent to the Division 2 bracket.

Harrell said his school is near the middle of enrollment in Class 4A, so how the new rule would affect Hornets' teams remains to be seen.

For example, Athens is in basketball District 15with Brownsboro, Canton, Kemp, Lindale, Mabank and Van.

Their enrollments are:

Lindale 1,286

Mabank 1,148.5

Athens 873

Brownsboro 775

Canton 682

Kemp 590

If Athens made the playoffs along with Lindale and Mabank, the Hornets would be in Division 2. If Athens qualified along with any of the remaining schools, Athens would be in Division 1.

Harrell said the new format would probably end the 2A regional tournaments that Athens hosted the past two years. The girls and boys regionals at the Athens gym brought good crowds from around East Texas to the facility.

In volleyball, softball and baseball, The new format would be installed for conferences 2A through 6A. For conference 1A, the playoff structure will remain the same with the top two teams from each district advancing to the playoffs to compete for one state championship.