District 15-4A breakup bittersweet for coaches

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – Say goodbye to “the little SEC” of Class 4A football.

District 15-4A, as we have come to know it, fell victim to the biennial shuffling of schools, spreading some of the state’s top 4A programs across North Texas.

While fans won’t see the same teams face off next year, coaches from the district formerly know as 15-4A were able to breath a small sigh of relief that they won’t have to face the week-to-week grind of arguably the deepest 4A district in the state.

“There’s no easy 4A district out there,” Mesquite Poteet coach Randy Jackson said. “We’re just happy to know [what the new districts are] so we can move on.”

Poteet, as well as half of the former 15-4A, will move over into District 10-4A, reuniting with a longtime rival Highland Park.

Poteet and Highland Park not only have a long history as former district-mates, but have a more recent chapter in 2010’s 4A Division II regional round of the playoffs. Poteet notched its first ever win against the Scots in 14 tries.

For the next two years, Highland Park, the school with the state record for playoff appearances, will have the opportunity to get revenge for the unexpected 2010 loss.

“They’re the New York Yankees of high school,” Jackson said.

The re-shuffling of 10-4A came as a complete surprise to Highland Park coach Randy Allen, who had guessed his program would fall in a district with the Frisco ISD schools or Sherman and Dennison.

“It’s a big shakeup,” Allen said. “We’d of never guessed this, but it will be a good district.”

The biggest surprises to Allen were the addition of both Forney ISD schools, Carrollton Newman Smith, Carrollton Creekview and Terrell.

Forney joins West Mesquite and Poteet in moving over from 15-4A, but North Forney will be making its first appearance in the 4A ranks after being a 3A school.

“The biggest deal is we don’t have to play the one-high school towns like Waxahachie and Corsicana and those guys,” Forney coach Kevin Rush said. “That will help us out I think. The one-high school towns have a definite advantage especially when you get up into 4A and 5A. You look around the state and see a lot of schools that are dominant that way.”

Forney is no stranger to Highland Park, as they were district mates for the first six years the program was in Class 4A, and the reunited rivalry is something the players at Forney will look forward to, Rush said.

Those single-school programs southeast of Dallas will remain in 15-4A, joining forces with three Mansfield schools: Lake Ridge, Legacy and Summit.

Once the new 10-4A coaches had a few minutes to wrap their mind around the new alignment, it became obvious to most that they won’t see much of a drop off in competition in their new home.

“I’m not sure this isn’t a little SEC, too,” Jackson said.