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Realignment paves a treacherous road to state…for some

Last week, UIL published alignment changes for the 2018-2019 wrestling season.  In our previous analysis we mapped out how the alignment reshuffled the regions of the returning state placers.  Looking at a broader population – the returning state qualifiers, we see some eye-popping results.  Let’s cut right to the chase – if you in the girls region 1-6A and you went to state this year…you might not qualify next year. If you are a boy wrestling in Region 2-5A, the field is wide open for you.

Each region sends 40 girls to the state tournament, with the realignment, there are 42 of this year’s state qualifiers returning next year in region 1-6A.  So, at a minimum, two will not make a repeat trip next year. This assumes, of course, that everyone returns and wrestles next year. Regardless, region 1-6A will be the toughest to qualify through, period. Looking by weight class, there are SIX returning qualifiers at 119, 138 and 185, FIVE at 102 and 148 and four at 95 and 215.  The 110 and 128 classes have two each, which will be undoubtedly filled with folks changing weights (teenagers tend to grow year over year…or shrink).

How did realignment affect other regions? I mean, those returning qualifiers had to come from SOMEWHERE, right? Region 2-6A shed 16 of its 28 returnees with realignment into region 1, but they picked up 12 from regions 3 and 4 as well as 5A schools, making them the 2nd toughest region with 24 returning qualifiers. Including FOUR at 110 and 138 (of course, we are quite certain that at least one of those will move up to 148 next year, based on our inside sources). Region 3 sent seven of its 26 returnees to region 2 and picked up a couple 5A moves, leaving them with 21.  Region 4 sits right where they started, with half of last year’s qualifiers returning next year.

Looking at 5A girls – there were hardly any shifts to speak of.  Regions 1 and 2 return 27 qualifiers each with 24 in region 3 and 25 in region 4.

On the boys side – in 6A – it is more of the same from our previous analysis – things are super top-heavy to the north, with regions 1 and 2 bringing in additional qualifiers from all over the place for a total of 38 each. As a reference point, each region qualifies 56 boys for state – so the two northern regions have a 68% return rate.  In Region 1 – the lighter weights look crowded, with FIVE qualifiers at 106 and FOUR at 113, as well as 145, 160 and 170. There is plenty of wiggle room for rosters, with a single returning qualifier at 138, 182 and 195.

The returning 106 pounders in region 2 had better start hitting some growth spurts this summer – there are SEVEN of them coming back, along with SIX at 126 and FIVE at 152lb. Above 152 is wide open with only one or two returners in each class.

Region 3-6A lost 6 of its 28 returners to end up with 22, only the 106lb class has FOUR. In Region 4-6A there were also 6 realigned, dropping them to 24 returners, with no overloaded weights.

Region 1-5A picked up one extra, so they have 35 returning state qualifiers with loaded bookends; FOUR at 106 and 285. Region 2-5A is suddenly wide open, dropping from 22 returners down to a state-low of 16 (29%), including several weight classes with no returning qualifiers. Region 3 lost 6 qualifiers to 6A leaving them and region 4 with 32 each. Region 3 has FOUR returning at 113, with the rest pretty evenly spread. Region 4 has openings in every weight class.

All that being said – there are no automatic qualifications and a return to the big show is NEVER a guarantee, but for some, there will just not be enough slots next year.