As usual, UIL doesn't disappoint in delivering surprises

Schools playing in a district that sandwiches another district. Road trips, one way, of close to 300 miles. Districts of 10 teams, or even four teams. Monday's UIL realignment news was as unpredictable as it was surprising to some. The good money was not on the rebirth of The LIttle Southwest Conference, but, whomp, here is it. The most intriguing idea was splitting classes 1A and 2A to match apples to apples. This creates wild travel scenarios but the hope was to pit similar-size schools against each other. Wish that could happen in 3A but the state's least populated classification doesn't allow for it under the current format.

But cheers for 1A District 9, which puts five struggling teams in one district. One will be a champion next fall and all should be in the playoff mix.

We'll see who appeals and how that process carries out. The UIL again gives us something to talk about well into next fall.

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Three of a kind

Hardin-Simmons student-athlete ZaVious Robbins was honored as one of 16 national finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is given to the top student-athlete in all levels of college football by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame.

That's a great thing, especially since Robbins was injured early in the season and hasn't played, a big reason why the Cowboys have struggled to a 4-4 record.

It occurred to me that I now have known a ZaVious, a Shavious and a Flavius. Shavious Kelley was a football and track standout at Pampa High School just a few years ago while Flavius Killebrew today is president of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He formerly was at West Texas A&M.

I unsuccessfully petitioned author J.K. Rowling to create a professor at Hogwarts named Flavius Killebrew in her final Harry Potter books. I think she missed a great opportunity ...

 

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McMurry rising; Tech QB debate

Lots to think about after another week of Texas college football.

McMurry won again and I'd say the Nation will be tough to beat the rest of the way. While Hardin-Simmons showed some grit in winning at East Texas Baptist, the upcoming HSU vs. McMurry game tilts in favor of McMurry right now. It's at McMurry and the Nation's skill personnel on offense may give an HSU defense that is playing well fits.

Tech fans are glad the Red Raiders are winning again but Taylor Potts fans may be nervous. First, we all hope his health is improving. But while he is sitting, this Sheffield kid is lighting it up. Is he that good or is it the system?

Potts has limited starting experience but has played in 2 big games. Sheffield has not. Ex-Abilene High standout still is No. 1 in my book but he had better get back on the field soon. Like, for the Nebraska game.

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That's a long scoring summary

A little over a year ago, a Friday Night Football clerk burned the midnight oil typing in the Throckmorton-May six-man game. Final score, in five overtimes: Throck 102, May 100.

It was the most scoring in a six-man game and, most likely, in any Texas game. Not even a bad basketball score.

Friday night, Trent won its first game and scored 132 points in a 132-86 win over Novice. That's the record now.

Poor Katie Jones. She took the call close to midnight and typed furiously to get in for our Saturday paper. All I could do, with the phone to her left ear, was ask her to be done by Monday or Tuesday. But she came through.

I bet we'll have a hard time finding call-taker next year ...

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Lackey's back

It seems that when I watch a game with John Lackey on the mound, the former Abilenian doesn't do well. That changed Thursday night in Anaheim, where Lackey blanked the Boston Red Sox into the 8th inning to win.

With Lackey probably going to be a hot commodity as a free agent, his postseason will raise his stock or lower it. Right now, the market is up.

Another outing like that and Angels move on.

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Lackey's back

It seems that when I watch a game with John Lackey on the mound, the former Abilenian doesn't do well. That changed Thursday night in Anaheim, where Lackey blanked the Boston Red Sox into the 8th inning to win.

With Lackey probably going to be a hot commodity as a free agent, his postseason will raise his stock or lower it. Right now, the market is up.

Another outing like that and Angels move on.

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Friday Night Dark

If you're wanting HS football this week, hit the road or tune in on your radio. Goes for college, too.

There are no games scheduled in Abilene this weekend. It's happened before but it's still a surprise when there is nothing in town. However, games are scheduled in Hawley, Baird, Clyde and Tuscola, so it's not a major road trip.

Of course, it's just 70 or so miles to Brownwood, where No. 4 Wylie takes on 4-1 Brownwood. That should be a great game, one that the Lions could win, though the Bulldogs have shown few weak areas. What might work for B'wood is having played tight games, whereas Wylie has romped to four wins.

Good news is gas is just over $2/gallon, so a road trip is not hard on the wallet.

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Win-win at Wylie

It's pretty busy in the office on Friday nights but I hope to duck out to watch some of the Wylie-Canyon game.

Tough call for me. I'm a Wylie grad and a Hugh Sandifer fan. Love those Bulldogs.

But I lived almost 7 years in Canyon and had to pull for the Eagles. Coach Blake Bryant is a stand-up guy and his teams have been exciting to watch. I know I'll see some friends in the stands.

So, you just go to enjoy. May the best team win, probably Wylie. Wear something purple. My son cna be all Canyon since he largely grew up there. Ironically, he's a Bulldog now, though of the Bonham breed. And someday maybe an AHS Eagle.

It's all good.

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Win-win at Wylie

It's pretty busy in the office on Friday nights but I hope to duck out to watch some of the Wylie-Canyon game.

Tough call for me. I'm a Wylie grad and a Hugh Sandifer fan. Love those Bulldogs.

But I lived almost 7 years in Canyon and had to pull for the Eagles. Coach Blake Bryant is a stand-up guy and his teams have been exciting to watch. I know I'll see some friends in the stands.

So, you just go to enjoy. May the best team win, probably Wylie. Wear something purple. My son cna be all Canyon since he largely grew up there. Ironically, he's a Bulldog now, though of the Bonham breed. And someday maybe an AHS Eagle.

It's all good.

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Wide open Chase

This year's NASCAR Chase could go down to the wire. One race in the books and it's still anyone's title to take. Sentimental favorite Mark Martin, the hero of us old guys, is on top. Three-time champ Jimmie Johnson is there and my son is excited for his driver.

I still like Denny Hamlin because he has been driving well and, well, who wants Juan Pablo to win? He gets booed as much as anyone at the track.

My guy is Greg Biffle and he's hanging in there. Better than Krashin' Kasey Kahne.

I'm looking forward to the Chase race at TMS. Somewhere along the way, I bet Kyle Busch does something to jam up a Chase driver.

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