As late as December, coaches who worked in the Fort Worth Independent School District had been told to expect that Aledo would remain a district rival when the University Interscholastic League did the whole re-classification thing. Thankfully, they were wrong.
On Monday morning, the UIL announced its latest re-districting, and Aledo no longer has to worry about being called a bully. Aledo was placed in District 8-5A along with Burleson, Burleson Centennial, Cleburne, Crowley, Everman, Joshua and Granbury.
(FYI – Class 5A is the new 4A, as the UIL added a Class 6A for the jumbo, big schools.)
“This is the best thing for us – if you look at it, most of the teams we are playing have two freshmen and two junior varsity teams,” Aledo head football coach and director of athletics Tim Buchanan told me on Monday. “My job as an AD just got a lot better, and probably as far as being competitive, it’s going to be better.”
If you don’t recall, Aledo was accused of being an actual bully – literally – when playing the FWISD schools the last two years. A parent of a Western Hills football player was not happy with Aledo's 91-0 win.
In the last two years, Aledo was 14-0 in district.
In 2013, Aledo won its seven district games by the combined score of 533-59.
In 2012, Aledo won its seven district games by the combined score of 340-25.
“Last year, we just had a really good team,” Buchanan said. “Our defense was exceptional. It’s not going to always be like that.”
No, but even in this new district expect Aledo to be fine. The Bearcats were once districted with most of these schools before in the early 2000s, and were a power then. From middle schools to the varsity, Buchanan and Aledo have it set up to roll pretty much outside of the NFC North.
Aledo was once roughly the same size of both Frisco and Southlake. The latter two areas have exploded; Southlake is a 6A. Aledo has grown, but not nearly at that rate. The reason?
“Water,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan believes that as long as the majority of the developments in Aledo rely on the more expensive well-water, growth will not be rapid. As long as the area does not boom, Aledo should remain steady and in Class 5A. Provided Aledo is a 5A, not 6A, they have too many advantages in terms of stable population, lower schools, facilities and coaches to prevent them from remaining a power.
Buchanan does not see a jump to 6A any time soon.
“Whatever company builds the community, it has to do water and sewer and that is expensive,” Buchanan said. “It’s just not growing as fast. There is one area (Walsh Ranch) that has city water from Fort Worth, and when they start building and selling those lots then in about four years we could make the jump.”
Buchanan sees that day coming, just not soon.
“The earliest I think we would make the jump is 2023,” he said.
Aledo, enjoy it.
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