In a couple of weeks, the new athletic season will begin for Kingwood and that means some big changes.
Every two years the University Interscholastic League, the state’s governing body for high school academics and athletics, reshuffles the deck in an effort to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the largest state in the continental United States.
They call it realignment.
For the most part it’s been kind to Kingwood regarding travel. Sure, the Mustangs have had their share of long distance trips to district competition. There were several years where Kingwood was realigned with Baytown and Beaumont schools, making for arduous journeys toward the Louisiana border.
The latest UIL realignment places Kingwood, and three other Humble ISD schools (Atascocita, Summer Creek, Humble), with the five Pasadena ISD schools (Pasadena, Dobie, Sam Rayburn, South Houston, Memorial) to form District 22-6A.
That makes for a highly unusual nine-team district. It’s only happened once before in Kingwood’s history, and not that long ago. The Mustangs were aligned for the 2012-13 seasons with four Klein and three Spring schools, along with Atascocita, to form the only other nine-team district the Mustangs have ever participated in.
It’s also the second time Kingwood has been aligned with the Pasadena schools. The Mustangs competed against them during the 2000-01 season.
The arrival of Humble to the 6A level for the first time this upcoming season added one more representative to the mix. It will compete in the same district with Kingwood for the first time since 2009-10. Humble made the cutoff of 2,190 students by a mere 89 students, making them the smallest school in the newly formed district.
Two sports have a different alignment for the next two years. Kingwood swimming and diving will be in District 21 (Region 6) and compete with Humble, Atascocita and Summer Creek, along with Baytown Sterling, Channelview and North Shore.
Kingwood wrestling is aligned in District 11 (Region 3) to form an 11-team district. In addition to the four Humble ISD schools, the district also includes Houston ISD schools Bellaire, Chavez, Heights, Lamar, Math Science and Technology, Westbury and Westside.