AUSTIN — The University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced the reclassification for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 athletic seasons this morning. After spending two seasons in Class 2A, Commerce High School is now in Class 3A. The move up is not based on increased population, however. Instead, the UIL decided to include 6-man football teams in a new division, pushing all current schools up.
Commerce's football team will compete against Caddo Mills, Dallas Life Oak Cliff, Red Oak Life, Scurry-Rosser and Sunnyvale in district play for the next two years. Sunnyvale and Caddo Mills were in the same district last year with Commerce.
"I think the district makes sense, geographically," CHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Scott Wells said. "Sunnyvale was kind of in a weird situation before; to get to any schools in the district, they had to go around DFW, so I figured they would take Sunnyvale out of our district. I thought we had a 50/50 shot of going with Sunnyvale or staying with the district we were in."
Scurry-Rosser will be the early season favorite to win the district after finishing with a 12-1 record last year in Class 2A, Region II, District 6. Dallas Life Oak Cliff competed in the same division as Scurry-Rosser, but struggled with a 2-8 record.
Red Oak Life also had a 2-8 (0-6 in district) record. Caddo Mills finished 4-7 (3-3), which included a 40-20 win over Commerce. Sunnyvale had a 7-3 (3-3) record and defeated Commerce 31-21 in 2013.
"[The reclassification] is good for us," Wells said. "I'd much rather be in this district than the district we were in. The teams from our old district are the teams we play in the playoffs, but I'd rather face them in the playoffs than each week of district play. The key will be staying healthy and getting through our pre-district play."
Four out of the six teams in District 6 will make the playoffs. Wells said he was familiar with Sunnyvale and Caddo Mills, knew that Scurry-Rosser made the playoffs last year, but hasn't had any experience with Dallas Life Oak Cliff or Red Oak Life.
For their pre-district games, the Tigers will take on a tough group: North Lamar, Quinlan Ford, Bonham, Melissa and Edgewood.
"We're in kind of a weird situation; we've been so good for several years, I'm having a tough time getting the 2As to play us," Wells said. "Of course, you don't know if that's the reason, or if they were just full. I didn't want to play Melissa, but I couldn't find anyone else for that spot."
The Tigers will play Caddo Mills, Farmersville, Leonard, Lone Oak, Tom Bean, Van Alstyne and Whitewright in basketball. Wells said he was also happy with that district, mentioning that most of the high schools were short drives away.