LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) -Realignment day brought changes across the board to East Texas teams.
One of the biggest things to change is that the annual showdown between Lufkin and Longview will not happen. The main reason for the change is Lufkin’s new nine team 8-5A district. The Pack only has two non-district slots available. The Panthers had penciled in Longview for week 3 but that looks to be the Panthers bye before starting a district schedule that includes College Station, New Caney, Porter, Waller, Magnolia, Magnolia West, Caney Creek and Cleveland.
“The thing we had that caught us off guard was Lufkin being placed in a nine-team league,” Longview Coach John King said. “We had tentatively agreed to play them week 3 because they had weeks one and two filled up. We agreed to play weeks one and two with other people as well. Fortunate for us, our friends in Tyler moved some stuff around and John Tyler agreed to play Nacogdoches and that freed up Lee for us. It keeps us playing in East Texas.”
Longview will also play Temple at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Week 1. Longview will then play in order Marshall, Tyler Lee and West Monroe (LA) in Shreveport week 4 before entering district play with West Mesquite, Wylie East, High Land Park, Sherman, McKinney North then John Tyler to close out the year. Longview has never played Wylie East or West Mesquite. The last time the Lobos played High Land Park was 1986 and the last time they played Sherman was 1976. That was the only meeting against the Bearcats.
Joe Willis will have Tyler Lee tested in his first year with the team. According to the Tyler Lee twitter, the Red Raiders will open the season against Lufkin then play John Tyler, Longview and Allen to round out non-district. Lee will then play Skyline, Rockwall, Horn, North Mesquite, Heath and Mesquite to round out their schedule.
Ricklan Holmes’ John Tyler team will also play a talented schedule. CUJO nation will start the year against Texas High then take on cross-town rival Tyler Lee. The Lions will round out their non-district schedule against Nacogdoches and Horn. Their district schedule starts with McKinney North, Wesr Mesquite, Wylie East, Highland Park, Sherman and Longview.