EDINBURG The University Interscholastic League (UIL) released the 2024-2026 reclassification and realignment Thursday, shaking up the Texas high school sports landscape for the next two school years. Athletic directors and coaches from across South Texas convened at Region I Service Center in Edinburg to take their first look at the newest districts for football, basketball and volleyball, as well as hustling to fill schedules because of the biennial shakeup.

Brownsville Veterans Memorial was expected to move up to Class 6A when enrollment numbers were released during the Chargers’ run to the Class 5A DI state semifinals.

What was the biggest surprise was moving up to a five-team district.

Brownsville Veterans joins Brownsville Hanna, Los Fresnos, San Benito and Harlingen High in the new District 32-6A. Brownsville Rivera dropped to Class 5A and Weslaco High left to District 31-6A.

Chargers head coach JC Ramirez is excited about the new challenge and figures his team should be battle tested by the time his team starts district.

“The challenge came this morning to find six non-district ballgames, luckily this is a big region and we were able to find all six games,” Ramirez said.

Brownsville Veterans faces PSJA Memorial, Brownsville St. Joseph, Rio Grande City, Laredo Alexander, PSJA High and Sharyland Pioneer in non-district.

Weslaco High, in one of the bigger shockers, is leaving 32-6A for the next two years, joining Edinburg Economedes, Edinburg High, Edinburg North, La Joya High and PSJA High in District 31-6A.

The addition of the Panthers pits last season’s 31-6A and 32-6A champions in the same district, with the Bears claiming the 31-6A crown in 2023.

“Anytime you bring in a new team that you haven’t played, it brings new life and new competition,” PSJA High head coach Lupe Rodriguez said. “Weslaco is a tough team and a tough opponent that brings out the best of you.”

Despite the move to 31-6A, the Panthers are still expected to see some familiar faces during non-district play, adding both Harlingen High and San Benito to their schedule during Wednesday’s realignment meeting.

“We might have the toughest non-district schedule, but we do that in order for us to get prepared and get ready for district,” Weslaco High head coach Roy Stroman said. “We understand that those games, people want to see those games. We know what type of crowd that is going to draw. I love playing against the Gomez coaches (Manny and Dan). I know they’re not brothers or cousins, but they kind of seem like that. I like going against them and challenging them. Those are the good games, the great games. That is what everybody wants to watch and see. We’re not going to back down and I know they’re not going to back down. It’s just great for our kids and the community.”

Coaches from across the Rio Grande Valley await the release of the UIL 2024-2026 Reclassification and Realignment on Thursday at the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg. Photo Courtesy – Region One ESC.

Notable changes also hit the Class 5A level as both Brownsville Rivera and Mission High are dropping down from Class 6A to Class 5A.

Brownsville Rivera joins the nine-team District 15-5A DI, which also features Donna High, Donna North, Harlingen South, PSJA Memorial, PSJA North, Weslaco East and Coastal Bend powers Corpus Christi Flour Bluff and Corpus Christi Veterans.

PSJA North head coach Marcus Kaufmann said being in a Valley majority district with a pair of Corpus Christi schools complicates travel for freshman and junior varsity contests, but also ups the competition level on the football field.

“My first thought was we’re going to be in the car a bunch driving all over the place. If you look at it on the map, we go from PSJA all the way across to Brownsville and all the way up north to Corpus that’s a wide distance,” Kaufmann said. “The JV and freshmen teams are the first thing I thought about with those football programs, but the competition part is different. A lot of those teams we haven’t seen before or we’ve played once. We’re kind of familiar with the district having played Donna, Harlingen South and Corpus Christi Veterans in the fourth round, so there’s a little bit of similarities there.”

Mission High’s move to Class 5A groups the Eagles into District 16-5A DI with Edinburg Vela, La Joya Juarez-Lincoln, La Joya Palmview, McAllen High, McAllen Memorial, McAllen Rowe and Rio Grande City.

With 10 Valley teams in Class 5A Division II, a 10-team district was expected with one non-district game followed by nine district contests.

That wasn’t the case, however, as Mission Veterans, Roma, Sharyland High and Sharyland Pioneer are matched up with Alice in a five-team District 15-5A DII. Meanwhile, Brownsville Lopez, Brownsville Pace, Brownsville Porter, Edcouch-Elsa, Mercedes and PSJA Southwest form the six-team District 16-5A DII.

“Shocked. Curveball. I didn’t see that coming,” Mission Veterans head coach David Gilpin said. “We were expecting a 10-team district one non-district game, nine non-district games I didn’t see any other way it was going to happen. There’s 10 5A DIIs in the Valley, figured they were going to do one district. They broke us into two, brought Alice down and split us and all of a sudden we’re in a five-team district where we have to find six non-district games opposed to one. Had a little bit of work to do but we feel like we got it done to come up with a quality non-district schedule.”

The Patriots non-district schedule features matchups against Brownsville Hanna, Edcouch-Elsa, Harlingen High, Laredo LBJ and PSJA High in addition to the annual Battle of Conway against Mission High to kickoff the season.

Raymondville moved down to Class 3A and will play football in Class 3A DI.

“We feel geographically that it kind of makes sense,” Raymondville head coach Frank Cantu said.

Cantu was pleased with the district that consists of Bishop, Falfurrias, Progreso, Rio Hondo, San Diego, Santa Gertrudis and Lyford.

The Bearkats played in a four-team district the past two seasons. Cantu said being in a larger district means more competitive games, and more meaning in the Cotton Bowl, a local rivalry with Lyford.

“It is always a friendly rivalry, but it is a rivalry,” Cantu said. “Everybody is going to be excited for that.”

Complete lists of UIL realignment for football, basketball and volleyball schools across the Valley can be found at RGVSports.com.

A list of the newest UIL football districts for Rio Grande Valley high schools can be viewed here.

A list of the newest UIL basketball districts for Rio Grande Valley high schools can be viewed here.

A list of the newest UIL volleyball districts for Rio Grande Valley high schools can be viewed here.

Visit uiltexas.org for a complete list of state wide reclassification and realignment.