Sweetwater head football coach Shane Mobley knew big changes might be coming for his program starting with the 2014 season.
And Monday, the Univer-sity Interscholastic League made it official. Sweetwater â€” which dropped from Class 4A to 3A back in 2000 â€” will return to Class 4A for at least the next two years.
But this time, itâ€™s because the UIL is renaming all of its classifications to include a Class 6A for the biggest schools. The Mustangs will be in Class 4A, Division II.
There will be more travel because only two schools in Sweetwaterâ€™s current district (4-3A) â€” Monahans and Greenwood â€” are also moving to 4A, Division II. Wylie and Big Spring will, in a rather surprising turn of events, be joined by Snyder in Class 4A, Division I beginning next year. Snyder, with a snapshot of 687 students, made the Division I cutoff by just two students and will be one of the smallest schools in the division, which has an upper limit of 1,059 students. Wylie had a snapshot of 1,003 and Big Spring had 943 (see figures below). So the three closest schools to Sweetwater â€” which turned in 535 students â€” in District 4-3A must be scheduled as pre-district foes. Greenwood and Lamesa, both a little over 100 miles away, are now the closest schools to Sweetwater in West Texas.
Other schools who might be in Sweetwaterâ€™s new district (465 to 685 students is the Division II cutoff) are current District 3-3A mem-bers Clint, Fort Stockton and Pecos â€” all of whom are at least a 200-mile trip â€” Dalhart and Perryton, both in District 1-3A and 300 miles away near the top of the Panhandle and the Texas-Oklahoma border â€” and Bushland, currently in 1-2A, Division I, which is moving up two classes the next alignment and is loca-ted about 250 miles away.
Others that might join Sweetwater in its new dis-trict if it goes northeast are Iowa Park and Vernon, who are near Wichita Falls and currently have membership in District 5-3A. The new UIL districts will be an-nounced Feb. 3. Vernon and Iowa Park are a three-hour drive for Sweetwater.