The UIL Conference realignments were announced throughout the state of Texas on Thursday and has seemed to shake up Madisonville’s football slate. Realignments were also listed for basketball and volleyball, but the Mustang District for those sports is still very similar.
“We’ll have an extremely hard football schedule from top to bottom,” said Madisonville head football coach and athletic director Rusty Nail. “We’ll need to show up and work tremendously hard every day next year as we will for sure be challenged each week.”
The 2017 Madisonville schedule featured just four District opponents. The Mustangs went 4-0 in District play over Bellville, Shepherd, Royal and Tarkington. In 2018, Madisonville’s District slate will feature Fairfield, Lorena, Mexia, Robinson, Salado and Waco Connally. They will still face Bellville in non-District play.
The changes in basketball and volleyball are much less dramatic for the Mustangs. In fact, their Districts will say almost entirely the same with the exception of one school. The District currently features Madisonville, Athens, Fairfield, Mexia and Palestine. The Athens Hornets will be replaced by Rusk.
“This District has been and will continue to be very competitive,” said head Madisonville men’s basketball coach Chris Reid. “Coach (Zach) Allison of Rusk does a great job with those kids. What I’m really looking forward to is our bi-District matchup. There are some pretty good teams in that District we have not faced. We’re looking forward to continue to battle in some good basketball games moving forward.”
Athens has been one of the more effective teams in the state and certainly the District for men’s basketball. This year, the Hornets are in first place at 23-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in District. This included an 82-80 buzzer-beater win over Madisonville in Athens on Jan. 16. The Mustangs will have a shot at revenge as they host the Hornets on Friday night for the last regular season, District matchup with Athens for at least two seasons.