Making the move to 4A sports

Zach DiSchiano

     In its final season of 5A football, the Cedar Park Timberwolves went 7-4, upset the number four team in the state, and won a district championship. However, with the addition of Vandergrift High School and Rouse High School, Cedar Park will lose a large number of students. The University Interscholastic League (UIL), who organizes every high school in Texas into separate districts, bases their decisions on which school goes to whichever district according to the school’s population. Since the school’s population has dropped due to the opening of Vandegrift High School, next year the Timberwolves will move down to a 4A school after re-evaluation.

     With this move, all sports teams at Cedar Park High will be affected. Because there are less 4A schools than 5A schools in the area, Cedar Park will have to travel farther to play other 4A schools. The Timberwolves have experience playing 4A schools already. This year the football team took on Lake Travis and lost the game 17-54. So, even though Cedar Park will play smaller schools, there will still be a lot of tough competition such as LTHS.

     “I think that the change will definitely benefit all our teams next year because we aren’t losing very many players so we will still be playing at a 5A level against 4A schools,” Tyler Stromberg, senior basketball player, said.

      When the change is made from 5A to 4A, the districts will change as well. Cedar Park will likely be placed in District 25-4A, which consists of Lake Travis, Dripping Springs, Hutto, Killeen, Lampasas, Marble Falls, and Hendrickson High School. This will be a huge change as far as traveling goes, because the average distance of a District 25-4A school is 35.4 miles and 45 minutes from CPHS. Cedar Park would still play close schools in non-district games, such as Leander and Vista Ridge, but the majority of the schedule will be their district opponents.

     Even without a mass of players, 4A schools have reputations for sending star players into college. In fact, University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy came from a 2A high school that had a population of just 330 students. Colleges know that Texas is the best state to recruit in football, no matter what school they go to. In fact, Class of 2010 quarterback Aaron Doyle of Evant High School (1A school north of Lampasas) has received offers from Division I schools like Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and the University of Houston. Whether it’s the rigor of Texas football or just the quality of the players, 4A athletes will still be recognized by colleges. High School Sports.Net, a website that evaluates and ranks sports teams from all districts, had five 4A teams placed in the Top 25 football rankings and one 3A team in there as well.

     “I think they (4A teams) will be just as talented,” Joseph Washington, junior wide receiver, said. “I think we’ll have an advantage coming from 5A and having 5A experience, but as far as talent and students count, they will be just as good.”

     Even though 4A schools have talented players, they lack depth because their teams are smaller than 5A schools. Lack of depth is always a concern, especially if a team in one-dimensional. There may be good players, but not enough of them.

     “Moving to 4A inevitable means a drop in the level of competition,” Robert Thompson, junior soccer player, said. “I’m definitely looking forward to it though, because it would give me and the boys a really good shot at a state title, which would be extra special my senior year.”

      All Timberwolf sports will be affected by the change, except one. Wrestling is the only sport that does not have classifications. The wrestling team enters a variety of meets every year and travel all over the state to places like Houston and San Antonio regularly, so they take on several different teams with several different levels of talent.

     “Wrestling doesn’t put schools in classes so it won’t affect our team at all,” Ben Quarrels, senior, said. “We have a very good competition level and always will.”

     The change will have an impact on everyone else, however, and it will be interesting to see how Timberwolf athletics will adapt.The Timberwolves have an opportunity to take advantage early while the majority of their players will still be here next year, so look out 4A, you may have a new powerhouse.