District Realignment Shocks Lufkin Fans

Three weeks ago, the folks at the Texas University Interscholastic League released their district realignments for football, basketball, and volleyball for the 2024-2026 school years.  Many Lufkin fans were shocked to learn that they were placed in the 7-5A district which included teams such as Joshua, Cleburne, Burleson Centennial, and Dallas Highland Park.

This would have required at least 6 hours of riding a bus (round trip) for many of those district games. In fact, Lufkin would have had the farthest district trips of any football teams east of Interstate 35.

Officials at Lufkin ISD reached out to the schools in District 7-5A and they were all in agreement that it would serve everyone's best interests to allow Lufkin to leave the district and pursue joining District 9-5A, which included teams in the Beaumont area.

However, that move to 9-5A was met with resistance, which forced Lufkin ISD to submit an appeal to the UIL.

Goodbye, Fort Worth...Hello, Beaumont

According to a release this morning from Lufkin ISD, the District Assignment Appeals Committee of the University Interscholastic League approved Lufkin ISD’s request to move the Panthers varsity football team from District 7-5A (Division 1) to District 9-5A in the 2024-26 seasons.

Lufkin is expected to be a part of a district that will include Barbers Hill, Baytown Sterling, Beaumont United, Beaumont West Brook, Galveston Ball and Port Arthur Memorial. The committee also approved moving Angleton from District 9-5A to District 11-5A.

Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva

Lufkin's longest district football trip will now be just short of three hours (one way) to Galveston Ball High School.

Lufkin School Board Statement on the Move

“This move will significantly decrease the amount of miles our students travel and subsequently the amount of lost instructional time at school,” the Lufkin school board said in a statement.

“The LISD Board of Trustees would like to thank Deputy Superintendent Kurt Stephens for taking action on behalf of our kids and community. Thanks Mr. Stephens for your leadership and advocacy!”

A football schedule for the upcoming season will be released at a later date.

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