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Realignment Update: Lehman, Hays stay in 6A, Johnson in 5A

By just six students, Lehman High will remain within the 6A ranks after the UIL Tuesday unveiled cutoff figures for all six conferences prior to February’s biennial realignment.

Based on the cutoff numbers, Lehman High, which turned in a preliminary, or snapshot, enrollment of 2,225 students, will remain in Conference 6A for the third straight realignment phase.

The cutoff between Conference 5A and 6A schools is 2,220 students. The UIL’s cutoff numbers will be used by the UIL in February when it realigns and reclassifies schools and conferences.

Lehman High will be the fourth smallest school in 6A based on student population. Only Willis, which moves up from 5A, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) North and Waco High have smaller student enrollments than Lehman that are beyond the 6A cutoff figure.

Prior to Tuesday, Lehman High was on the bubble on either staying in 6A, the highest classification of athletics in the state, or dropping down to 5A. Lehman High, which opened as a 4A (now 5A) school, moved up to 6A in the 2015 season.

Having the cutoff figures now helps coaches build non-district schedules with a better degree of certainty, said Lehman High athletic coordinator Bruce Salmon.

But at the same time, Salmon said the program’s goals of growing and molding young athletes, as well as improving and getting better on the field remain the same. For Salmon, speculation of where they’ll end up in February and all of the subsequent chatter that goes along with that is “just white noise.”

“Yesterday was the first day of the offseason and the kids are off to a great start,” Salmon said.

Meanwhile, Johnson High, which will enter its first full season at the varsity level in 2020, will open in Conference 5A for all sports except football, where the Jaguars will play in the Class 5A, Division I ranks.

Hays CISD officials said they will allow Johnson High to compete at the 5A level and will not opt to move them up to 6A with the other district schools. It will mark the first time in Hays CISD history the district will have high schools competing in different UIL conferences.

Johnson High’s snapshot enrollment turned into the UIL was 2,176 students, which was double the current student population of 1,088 students. Johnson High, which opened in August, currently houses freshman and sophomores.

While change is forthcoming for Lehman and Johnson, life for Hays, Dripping Springs, San Marcos and Wimberley athletics will remain the status quo.

Hays High will stay in the 6A ranks based on its snapshot enrollment of 2,435 students, which is well above the 5A/6A cutoff. Also staying in the same conference is Dripping Springs, which will remain in 5A for all sports and 5A, Division I in football. Dripping Springs turned in a snapshot enrollment of 2,144 students, which was a substantial increase from the 1,800-plus during the last realignment in 2018. However, the Tigers are expected to see an entirely new slate of district foes in football as nearly every school they compete with in 12-5A, Division 1 is moving down to Division 2.

Despite speculation of possibly moving up, Wimberley High will remain in the 4A, Division II, or small school, ranks in football for the next two years. The Texans turned in a snapshot enrollment of 795 students, which was under the 864 student cutoff for Division I.

San Marcos’ stay in 6A will continue for another two years due to its snapshot enrollment of 2,309.

UIL Conference cutoffs
for the 2020-22 school years

6A – 2,220 students and above
5A – 1,210 to 2,219 students
4A – 515 to 1,209 students
3A – 230 to 514 students
2A – 105 to 229 students
1A (six man) – 104.9 and below

How did area schools fare?

Hays and Caldwell Counties

Hays – 2,435 (6A)
Lehman – 2,225 (6A)
Dripping Springs – 2,144 (5A; 5A D1 football)
Wimberley – 795 (4A; 4A D2 football)
San Marcos – 2,309 (6A)
Johnson – 2, 176 (5A; 5A D1 football)
Luling – 390 (3A)

Austin area schools

Bowie – 2,848 (6A)
Lake Travis – 3,401 (6A)
Westlake – 2,833 (6A)
Austin High – 2,539 (6A)
Akins – 2,770 (6A)
Austin LASA – 1,284.5 (5A)
Anderson – 2,211 (5A; 5A D1 football)
Crockett – 1,543 (5A; 5A D2 football)
Austin Johnson – 855 (5A; 5A D2 football)
McCallum – 1,773.5 (5A, 5A D2 football)
Austin Navarro – 1,646 (5A, 5A D2 football)
Austin Northeast – 1,141.5 (5A; 5A D2 football)
Austin Travis – 1,245 (5A; 5A D2 football)
Eastside Memorial – 755 (4A; 4A D2 football)

Comal County

Smithson Valley – 2,980 (6A)
New Braunfels High – 2,634.5 (6A)
New Braunfels Canyon – 2,027 (5A; 5A D1 football)
Canyon Lake – 1,136 (4A; 4A D1 football)
Davenport – 1,034 (4A; no football)

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