By Moses Leos III
Trips to games will take a little longer for Hays CISD athletic programs starting next fall.
On Feb. 18, the University Interscholastic League’s Appeals Committee denied Hays CISD’s appeal to move into a different district next season.
Hays CISD filed the appeal earlier this month after Hays and Lehman were realigned in the new 25-6A district. The district casts Lehman and Hays with Lake Travis, Westlake, Vandegrift, Vista Ridge and Leander, all of which are located in northern and western Travis County.
The district wanted to be moved into the newly realigned 14-6A, which will house Bowie, Austin High, Del Valle, San Marcos, Akins and Anderson starting next season. These schools are located closer to Hays CISD.
In a letter to parents, Hays CISD superintendent Michael McKie said the district knew “from the outset” the chances of them prevailing “were not high.”
“[But] we felt the issues was important enough to file an appeal,” McKie said in the letter.
McKie said the appeal was based on the increased travel time to games for student athletes, along with fans in the district.
“The proximity to the Austin Metro Area affords us the opportunity to compete against many highly successful programs with little travel demands,” Savoy said during his appeal on Feb. 18.
He added travel to schools in the new District 25-6A would mean Hays and Lehman passing by schools in 14-6A.
While the district has employed “creative scheduling” to minimize the loss of instructional time, travel within the new district could broaden the issue.
He estimates absences could double with the proposed alignment related to travel, and that students and staff will miss two class periods “to get to sub-varsity competition.”
The district proposed three alternatives to alleviate the loss of teams in District 25, which could have allowed for Hays and Lehman to move into 14-6A.
But according to reports, representatives from Lake Travis and Westlake spoke against the changes.
McKie said the district would work within the UIL’s decision.
“We will respect this decision and we’re looking forward to spirited and friendly competition in U.I.L. District 25-6A,” McKie said in his letter. “While the travel time will be a challenge, it is one we will manage.”