Lufkin Still in Class 5-A – But Just Barely
Lufkin High School is still a Class 5A school in District 14-5A, in the latest realignment by the University Interscholastic League. In what turned out to be a minor reshuffling, the UIL is keeping Lufkin's "Friday night lights" in the same district with four high schools in Montgomery County, but has added two new schools.
For at least the next years, the Lufkin Panthers will continue to play Conroe, Oak Ridge, The Woodlands and Woodlands-College Park, but with the additions of Bryan and A&M Consolidated. Kingwood and Atascocita, which have each been in Lufkin's district for the past two seasons, have moved to District 13-5A.
It was a close call for Lufkin. LHS started the school year with 2,127 students. That's just 37 more than the cutoff between Class 4A and Class 5A.
LISD Superintendent Roy Knight says traveling to games in Bryan and College Station won't be a big deal. He says it has "probably added 15 miles to our trips."
3A teams in the Lufkin area also remained relatively unchanged. Center, Diboll, Huntington, Hudson, Central and Jasper stayed in the same district, which changed from 18-3A to 20-3A.
Zavalla and Lufkin's public charter school, Pineywoods Community Academy, will compete in District 23-A with Broaddus, Brookeland, Pineland West Sabine and San Augustine.
Lufkin is one of the smallest 5A schools in the state, which makes one wonder if it would hurt Lufkin to be moved down to class 4A.
If that were to happen, it's probable that Lufkin would be put into a mostly east Texas 4A district with many of its old rivals like Nacogdoches, Tyler Lee, Longview, Pine Tree, Marshall and maybe several schools in the Dallas area.
Lufkin would again be playing teams in east Texas instead of the Houston suburbs, which have nothing in common with east Texas. How could that be bad?