|Every two years, it's a cycle of emotions. Some teams are elated. Some..less so. All due to the UIL Realignment that sets the stage for the next two seasons in football, baseball and other sports across the Texas High School landscape.
For Longview, an expectation of going west to the Metroplex has been a common theme since the 2004 season. In 2022 & 2023, that won't change as the Lobos have been placed in a district with Forney, Lancaster, Lufkin, McKinney North, North Mesquite, Tyler and West Mesquite.
Many rumors had Lufkin and Lancaster joining the district. The one shock, however, was the addition of McKinney North.
Let's take a deep dive into the new 7-5A Division I.
The Jackrabbits finished the 2021 season with a 7-4 record, making the post season for the first time since the 2015 season. Overall, Forney has made the playoffs just twice since 2010. Forney's most successful season came in 2000, when the Jackrabbits fell in the state championshio to LaGrange, 20-17.
Whether it happens in 2022 or 2023, Longview will make it's first ever trip to Forney to play a football game in very nice CityBank Stadium that hosts both Forney and North Forney.
Now the fun switches to district play as the Lobos and Tigers will see their 4th and 5th meetings take place in district play. Longview holds a 3-0 series lead, with the first meeting coming back in 2008. Last season's 34-14 Longview victory was by far the closest meeting of the two between the two teams.
The Tigers will enter the 2022 season riding a 16-game district winning streak, which dates back to 2019. Lancaster's most successful season came in 2012, when the Tigers lost to Cedar Park, 17-7, in the State Championship game.
Since that 2003 game, the two teams have gone in vastly different directions. The Lobos ended an 11-game losing streak to the Panthers in 2007, and are 13-4 against the Pack since that streak ended. Longview is currently riding a 5-game winning streak against Lp, and has won four playoff games against Lufkin since 2003. The Lobos saw their long state championship drought end in 2018, while the Panthers have just 8 playoff wins since 2006.
For Lufkin, the Panthers went 4-6 in 2021 in a season that saw the Panthers miss the post season for the first time since 1997. Lufkin's most successful season came in 2001, when the Panthers defeated Austin Westlake 38-24 in the State Championship.
Lobo fans will, no doubt, vividly remember last season's most shocking loss in the form of McKinney North defeating Longview in McKinney 37-35. It has been labeled one of the worst losses in John King's tenure.
The Bulldogs evened the series in that win over Longview at 1-1. Longview won the first meeting, in 2020, 55-10.
McKinney North's most successful season came in 2014, when Tyler defeated the Bulldogs 64-40 in the State Quarterfinals.
Longview and North Mesquite will meet for the 16th time this season, with the Lobos holding a 12-3 edge in the series. The last three meetings have been particularly lopsided as the Lobos have outscored the Stallions, 159-10 in those 3 match ups. Longview defeated North Mesquite, 55-0, in their 2019 meeting at Hanby Stadium.
The Stallions finished the 2021 season with a 1-9 record, and is currently riding a 9-game losing streak. North Mesquite has not won more than three games in a season since 2016, when they finished 4-6.
North Mesquite has not made the post season since 2015, and their most successful season came in 2000 when they lost to the Woodlands in the State Quarterfinals.
Longview has won the last 5 meetings against the Lions, and leads the overall series 52-39-7.
Tyler finished the 2021 season with a 6-5 record, losing to Magnolia West 56-14 in the first round. It was a stark improvement from the 2020 season when the Lions finished 2-7.
The Lions have 3 state championships to their name, in 1930, 1973 and 1994.
West Mesquite competed much better in 2021 than it did in 2020, but the Lobos have been able to walk away with 56-28 and 49-24 victories in each of their two meetings.
The Wranglers finished 2-8 last season, a slight improvement from their 2020 season of 1-9.
West Mesquite's most successful season came in 2007 when they fell to Highland Park, 49-6, in the State Semi-Finals.