UIL realignment will make it a new ball game
Next season will be a whole new experience for Marlin and Lady Marlin basketball players. The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for high school competition in Texas, has realigned basketball districts for 2012-2014, leaving the Marlins with only one of the four opponents they faced this year.
Instead of foes northwest of here – Falls City, Kenedy and Pettus – players will look to the southwest, where the new district includes Agua Dulce, Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco, Benavides and Premont.
Woodsboro, also in the revamped District 31A, is the only district opponent Port Aransas had this year.
“I’m disappointed at losing Falls City,” said girls’ basketball coach Stephanie Cowen. “They bring out our competitive side.”
However, while the old district was competitive, “I imagine Ben Bolt will be competition for us. Woodsboro – there’s a competitive spirit between us and them.” Cowen expects Woodsboro to lose some players. “They’ll be a very different team next year,” she said.
Boys’ coach Joe Kocurek sees some advantages in the realignment, but notes that the purpose remains the same.
“I think we are going to a district that is not as strong as the district we are in, but we will get to see some new faces,” Kocurek said. But, he added, “It really doesn’t matter that much, as we will still be focused on the same goals of winning our district.”
Administratively, Port Aransas ISD athletic director Steve Reaves isn’t unhappy with the changes.
“Our new district is very similar to our old basketball district, which is better (for travel) than I thought it would turn out,” Reaves said.
“I feel confident that we will be very competitive in this new district, and should go into next season as one of the favorites to win a district championship with both the boys and girls. These are teams we have seen in the past, so we are familiar with them. They have been in our spring sports for the last several years so we know their coaches and athletes. It should be a pretty smooth transition,” Reaves said.
The new district 31A:
• Agua Dulce, a district with an enrollment of 345 as of October 2010 (the latest figures available on the Texas Education Agency Web site), is on State Hwy. 44 about 11 miles east of Alice. It’s 65 highway miles from Port Aransas.
• The Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco enrollment last year was 597, according to the TEA. Ben Bolt is on U.S. 281, south of Alice and an 85-mile drive from Port Aransas.
• Benavides, 102 miles by road from Port Aransas, is southwest of Alice and had a student population of 391 in 2010.
• Premont has suspended its football program while the district tries to meet TEA standards; the TEA threatened to consolidate the district with other districts this year. The basketball and other athletic programs continue, however. Premont is south of Ben Bolt on U.S. 281 (100 miles from Port Aransas) and has an enrollment of 596.
• Woodsboro, the team the Marlins and Lady Marlins will continue to meet, has a student population of 504. It is south of Refugio on U.S. 77, and about 40 miles from Port Aransas.