Population shift could change school district realignment

Staff Report

When they head into their third year of varsity-level competition next fall, Johnson Jaguar athletic, academic and music programs could very well take things to the next level.  

Harboring an enrollment hovering just above 2,400 students, Johnson High School might rise to the Conference 6A ranks when the UIL realigns in February. 

Those figures arrived this week as school districts across the state sent in their student enrollments as part of “Snapshot Day,” which is one of the first parts of the UIL’s bi-annual Realignment and Reclassification event. The UIL’s next realignment takes place in February 2022 and impacts athletic, academic and music competitions the league offers for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. 

Johnson’s enrollment of 2,474 students might catapult their extracurricular programs – which currently compete in 5A and 5A, Division I in football – into 6A which features the likes of San Marcos, Lake Travis, Westlake and Bowie. The projection is based on the existing UIL conference cutoff numbers; however, the UIL is expected to release new cutoff figures for the 2022-24 realignment in December. 

While Johnson might find its programs on the way up, Hays could be moving back down a classification. 

Hays’ snapshot enrollment of 1,952.5 students could signal a return to the 5A ranks. Hays has competed at the 6A level since the 2014-15 school year but competed in what was 4A, now 5A, for many years prior. 

Lehman’s snapshot enrollment of 2,049 students is expected to keep its athletic and music programs competing at the 5A level as well. 

Meanwhile, continued, rapid growth in western Hays County might dramatically impact Dripping Springs. 

Dripping Springs, a school that historically has competed in smaller classifications for decades, could be on the fringe of making a historic plunge into 6A with an enrollment of 2,353 students. Currently, Dripping Springs competes in the 5A ranks and 5A, Division I in football. 

Going further southwest, Wimberley seems poised to remain in 4A and in the 4A, Division II ranks in football, which the school has played in for some time. 

So where do local area high schools stand ON Snapshot Day? 

*Information gathered from Hays CISD and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

Lehman Lobos – 2,049 (2,173 in 2020) 

Hays Hawks – 1,952.5 (2,351 in 2020) 

Johnson Jaguars – 2,474 (2,176 in 2020) 

Dripping Springs Tigers – 2,335 (2,144 in 2020)

San Marcos Rattlers – 2,467 (2,309 in 2020)

Akins Eagles – 2,643 (2,770.5 in 2020) 

Bowie Bulldogs – 2,830.5 (2,848 in 2020)

Seguin Matadors – 2,157 (2,030.5 in 2020) 

Lockhart Lions –1,911(1,756 in 2020) 

Wimberley Texans – 831 (795 in 2020)

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