North Dallas High Athletic Coordinator Brian Barnett is excited about North Dallas’ placement in the recent UIL realignment for the next two years.
On Feb. 1, the UIL announced that the Bulldogs will drop to Class 4A, based on its enrollment. In football, the Bulldogs will be in a new District 8-4A Division I and compete against Carrollton Ranchview, Alvarado, along with Hillcrest, Carter, Wilmer-Hutchins and Pinkston.
In volleyball, basketball and the other sports, North Dallas will be in an all-Dallas ISD district, competing against Hillcrest, Lincoln, Carter, Roosevelt, Pinkston and Wilmer-Hutchins.
“We are very excited about realignment for all sports,” Barnett said in an email. “We feel that we will be competitive in all sports. Basketball will be tough in the new district for both boys and girls. Four of the boys teams are currently ranked in the Top 20 in the state.
“Our expectations will not change, we will just have to continue improving,” he said. “We will have a lot of returning players and that will definitely be an asset.”
Head football coach Fred Johnson likes his new district.
“Change is good in our district. It gives us a different look,” Johnson said. “It will be a very competitive district. I’m excited about it.”
Johnson said the Bulldogs will play Thomas Jefferson, Carter-Riverside, Diamond Hill-Jarvis and Life Oak Cliff in the preseason. He currently has about 20 players returning, and has 33 players slotted for the varsity roster.
“It’s a good sign for us,” assistant football coach Desiree Allen said. “We’ll be more competitive in this district. We’re not only gaining numbers, but it’s going to be a better fit. The potential is there. The numbers always make the biggest difference. If the numbers continue like they’ve been doing, we’ll be fine.”
By numbers, Allen is referring to North Dallas’ enrollment compared to the other schools. In the current 12-5A, North Dallas is the smallest school in terms of enrollment.
District 8-4A, Division I, with 2017 records
North Dallas — Finished with 1-9 record and 6th place in District 12-5A.
Hillcrest — Finished with 3-7 record and fifth place in 11-5A with 2-4 record.
Carter — Finished with 9-3 record and second place in 6-4A Div. 1 with 4-1 record. Lost in second round of playoffs
Alvarado — Finished with 3-7 record and third place in 6-4A Div. 1 with 3-2 record. Made playoffs.
Carrollton Ranchview — Finished with 5-6 record and fourth place in 6-4A Div. 1 with 2-3 record. Made playoffs.
Wilmer-Hutchins — Finished with 4-6 record and fifth place in District 6-4A Div. 1 with 1-4 record
Pinkston — Finished with 0-10 record and sixth place in District 6-4A Div. 1 with 0-5 record
Volleyball coach Alana Cummings said she expects the schools in the new district to be “very athletic.”
“To me, it’s not going to be a really big deal. We still have to work hard, play volleyball, and work for the playoffs. It’s going to be great,” Cummings said. “They’re still very athletic teams. We’ll still be in DISD. We had the same Dallas teams last time, so it will be the same for us, I think.”
The new district for volleyball (records incomplete, not included):
North Dallas — Finished 8-12 and in fifth place in 12-5A
Hillcrest — Finished first in 11-5A. Made playoffs
Carter — Third-place team in 10-4A. Made playoffs
Lincoln — Fourth-place team in 10-4A. Made playoffs
Boys basketball Coach Jeremy Mason says the new district will be “a challenge.”
“It’s a basketball district. It’s basketball heavy. It will be fun,” Mason said. “My young guys will get an opportunity to be exposed a little bit because those are the teams that I would look to schedule in the preseason to get us ready for district. Now that we play them during district play, that will be good exposure for them.”
Mason said he’s looking forward to playing Lincoln, which is always a contender and has a long tradition in basketball.
“Lincoln is somebody I’ve always wanted to play,” Mason said. “It’s kind of the nostaglia of their team, their history. Somebody I’ve always wanted to play. I think they’re going to play at their home next year. We’ll get a chance to play them at Cobb, and that’s home for them, too. It will be fun. A lot of it is just the history of Dallas ISD.”
The new district for boys basketball, with 2017-18 records:
North Dallas — 4-23 record, 3-9 in 12-5A
Hillcrest — Fourth-place team in 11-5A, with 11-10 record, 8-4 in district. Made playoffs.
Lincoln — First-place team in 10-4A with 22-8 record, 13-0 in district. Made playoffs.
Carter — Second-place team in 10-4A with 28-5 record, 11-3 in district. Made playoffs.
Wilmer-Hutchins — Third-place team in 10-4A with 17-9 record, 7-4 in district. Made playoffs.
Roosevelt — 20-11 record, 5-6 in 10-4A
Pinkston — 8-19 record, 3-9 in 10-4A.
“To face all these different teams is cool,” Mason said. “As long as I’ve been coaching, this is the third time realignment has happened, so I’ve been to some of these teams before. But I’m excited about it. It’s going to be tough to get anything but we look forward to the challenge.”
The new district for girls basketball, with 2017-18 records:
North Dallas — Fouth-place team in 12-5A, with 13-15 record, 6-6 in district. Made playoffs.
Hillcrest — Second-place team in 11-5A, with 15-15 record, 9-3 in district. Made playoffs
Lincoln — First-place team in 10-4A with 26-4 record, 13-1 in district. Made playoffs.
Wilmer-Hutchins — Second-place team in 10-4A with 18-9 record, 8-2 in district. Made playoffs.
Carter — Fourth-place team in 10-4A with 15-15 record, 7-6 in district. Made playoffs
Roosevelt — 16-11 record, 5-8 in 10-4A
Pinkston — 15-13 record, 3-8 in 10-4A
For cross country coach Troy Power, the best thing is that the girls will run 2 miles, not the 3 miles like in 5A.
“The girls will run two miles instead of three,” Power said. “That’s where we take off when it’s two miles instead of three.”
Power is also expecting more of the soccer boys to join cross country, and that should help.
In soccer, boys soccer coach Jonatan Benitez will be facing all new teams.
“I don’t know these teams,” Benitez said. “A lot of people say we will do much better, but we don’t know until we play against them. It’s definitely going to be different. We need to prepare ourselves for the new district. ”
In baseball, North Dallas baseball coach Steven De La Cerda doesn’t want to overlook the competition.
“As far as baseball goes, having mainly DISD schools, we’re thankful we landed in a nice district but we don’t want to overlook any of our opponents,” De La Cerda said. “Although we’re glad where we landed, it’s not a guarantee for anything. It really isn’t. The crazy thing about it is that we’re about to play the next two years, and we haven’t even played this season. We can look all day to the future, but I need to get past the district this season.”
Softball Coach Chris Barnhill believes his team will be able to compete for the district title.
“We like it for softball,” Barnhill said. “Pretty good district for us. The girls will see a big difference.”