Building a consistent football winner is a tall task and, in Wharton County, East Bernard remains the lone team ranked inside the top 50 of 1,195 schools that were ranked by TexasFootball.com.
The rankings encompass a six-year window including, total games won, winning percentage, number of 10-win seasons, state titles and how many state title games appeared in.
East Bernard (68-12) was ranked at 49, behind Wellington and in front of McLean who made it to the state title game twice in the last six years. A canceled game, injuries, and an abbreviated playoff run kept the Brahmas from a sixth straight 10-win season. Their losses last year were both in overtime, one to Shiner, a state champion, and the other in the playoffs to Lexington. The first-round playoff loss hurt East Bernard in the rankings, dropping them 35 spots year-over-year.
El Campo (50-20) was ranked 162 and tied with both Lindsay and Lufkin. In the past six years, El Campo has had one down year, making the playoffs five out of six seasons. The Ricebirds had one game canceled, which could have kept them from a 10-win season which would have been third in the last six years. Not making it to the third round likely cost El Campo, dropping 30 spots. While East Bernard is the top in the area, Brock where El Campo’s new Head Coach Chad Worrell came from was number 17 in the state.
Boling (42-30) was ranked 186, behind Paul Pewitt and in front of Lexington. Helping keep the Bulldogs high is their recent state title run is still within the last six years. Boling is on their way back up, making a return to the playoffs last season after a two-year absence. Boling rose two spots.
Wharton (30-36) was ranked 657, tied with Mexia and in front of San Antonio Highlands. The Tigers had a tough season last year going winless after making the playoffs four times in the past six years. Wharton had the farthest fall in the area dropping 145 spots.
Louise (23-42) was ranked 894 tied with three other programs Breckenridge, Hico and Detroit. While not the most winning school in the area, Louise and East Bernard are the only teams in Wharton County who’ve made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons. Louise came eight points from making the second round of the playoffs last season.
Going into the 2021 season, both the Ricebirds and the Brahmas are ranked in the top 10 teams in their respective divisions. The first official day of football practice starts on Aug 2.
The last few days, coaches around the state have been in San Antonio at the annual coaching school. One of the interesting storylines coming out of coaching school is the UIL is considering adding a 7A classification.
“As schools keep opening and we keep adding to what starts off as a pool of 500 schools and that pool becomes 510, 520, 550,” Jamey Harrison, the UIL’s deputy director said via the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “You either have to keep pushing some of them down — just do the math — 32 districts of 320 would be 10 teams per district and it won’t fall where there are 10 teams in those districts, it just doesn’t. You just can’t go much above 500 for 5A and 6A. So as those schools keep adding, I think 7A becomes a more realistic conversation”
Plano East and Plano West both have enrollment’s over 5,000 students and 16 schools are over 4,000.
El Campo has the largest enrollment in Wharton County with 1,154 and in their 12-4A football district.
The 5A cut off during the last realignment was 1,210.
Schools with enrollments between 515-1,209 are 4As, the widest margin outside 6A. The addition of a 7A classification would tighten 6A and possibly 4A as well, potentially bumping El Campo to 5A.
The UIL did not say when 7A could be added, however, schools this Fall will submit their enrollment snapshots and that data will be used to determine the next realignment which will come out in the Spring.