That’s how close the Greenville Lions are to dropping a level of classification in the University Interscholastic League’s new realignment and reclassification for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 athletic seasons. Greenville, which is currently a member of District 13-4A, will apparently stay with most of the state’s 4A teams as they change their conference numbers to 5A for the new realignment.
The UIL on Monday released the enrollment numbers for the upcoming realignment. The new districts will be announced on Feb. 3.
The UIL is adding a 6A division, which will include high schools with enrollments of 2,100 students and above. The 5A division numbers are 1,060 to 2,099. Greenville turned in an enrollment of 1,070.
The new 4A numbers are 465 to 1,059. Greenville currently ranks eighth in enrollment in District 13-4A and finished eighth in the district standings this past football season with an 0-7 record.
The Lions probably would have ranked first in enrollment had they been placed in a new 4A district along with current 3A schools.
“I think we would have eventually been in a better situation as far as being able to compete,” said Lions athletic director Marvin Sedberry. “When you get in a situation where they have 200 or more kids than you have you struggle a little bit,” he said. “Especially in your team sports like football, soccer and maybe even baseball, when you’ve got to have a number of players and backups. It takes a toll on you over the season.”
Some of the football teams that are now in 3A suit up less than 30 players. Some of the 4A teams the Lions have been playing have been suiting up 60 or more players. The Lions’ roster stayed under 50 players for the whole season.
McKinney North, one of Greenville’s district opponents, turned in an enrollment number of 2,036, according to one football website, while Wylie was at 1,994, Sherman was at 1,784, Royse City at 1,378.5, Denison at 1,216 and Lucas Lovejoy at 1,185.
As for what opponents the Lions will have in their next district, that’s still anybody’s guess.
“I think we’re always right on that bubble where we can go east or go to the Metroplex,” said Sedberry. “The 6A is really what created a big difference in the conferences. I think Royse City has maybe taken the place of where Sulphur Springs used to be.”
When the Lions are sent towards the Metroplex in a district, it has been with Royse City. In the past, when they went east into a new district, it was with Sulphur Springs.
“When you’re right on that lower end like we are you can go either way,” said Sedberry. “My thing is you want an opportunity to be competitive.”
Local schools Nevada Community and Emory Rains are also battling the numbers game.
Rains turned in an enrollment of 484, which would put the Wildcats in the new 4A by only 19 students. The Wildcats made the 3A playoffs this season in football after going 0-10 last year.
Community is even closer to the 3A cutoff with its enrollment of 480. The UIL’s new 3A cutoff numbers are 220 to 464.
Lone Oak, at 307, will be in 3A Division II, which has a limit of 220-314. The Buffaloes were in District 7-2A Division I this season in football.
“It’s good for us,” said Lone Oak coach Dean Lasseter. “We don’t have to play those bigger schools like New Boston, Winnsboro, Eustace or Malakoff. They’re all close to 400 kids. Most likely it’ll put us down with Grand Saline and Alba-Golden.”
Quinlan Ford, at 747, will be in the new 4A.
Caddo Mills, with a 449 number, should be in 3A along with Farmersville at 439. The Foxes and the Farmers should be in Division I.
Commerce is also likely to be a 3A Division I school with its 405 enrollment.
Leonard, which is in the Class 2A Division II state quarterfinals in football, will be in 3A Division II with its enrollment of 279.
The 2A numbers are 105 to 219, with 104.9 and below set for Conference A.