First Draft of Winter Schedules, Besides Bowling, Have Been Released


The first draft of schedules for the upcoming winter sports season, except for bowling, were released on Monday, Oct. 5. The official announcement of the conference realignment was also released with the schedules. The season is still set to begin on Jan. 2, 2021, with all teams having their first match on Jan. 14.

“Initially, I was very excited for the simple fact that we just want sports to start,” said William Hemberger, the athletic director and head women’s varsity basketball coach. “It kind of makes it feel a little more official, starting to plan for events, seeing our conferences, what the playoff format looks like. ‘Excited’ would definitely be the word I would go with.”

Just like in previous years, each program has their own set amount of games. Women’s basketball currently has 12 games scheduled, men’s basketball and flag football both have nine, and wrestling has six meets.

“I’m looking forward to this and seeing how our season ends, with [Desert Oasis], Liberty, Centennial and Gorman,” Hemberger said. “I mean that’s just going to be weeks of fun and preparation. You only get one crack at it too. That’s the big difference with girl’s basketball; we used to have a home and an away [game]. Now, we only have one game against these teams.”

The first draft only contained the conference games for each team. Each program can add their own non-conference games to expand their season up to 18 games. Most coaches on campus have said they plan on doing so.

“I definitely would [add games], just to extend the season a little bit,” said Nathan Keith, the new head bowling coach. “Maybe even a scrimmage to go up against somebody from the 4A league. Just to do something for fun and just to say ’okay, we can practice with you guys’ [and] make it more of a competition.”

Along with the schedules came the announcement of the conference realignment. Based on the performance of each program over the last four years, each of the programs were placed in either 3A, 4A or the new 5A division. The women’s basketball, wrestling and both women’s and men’s bowling programs went up to 5A, men’s basketball stayed in 4A, and flag football went down to 3A.

“When you’re looking at the four-year cycle to get the data to be able to make all the conferences, I think everybody is where they deserve to be,” Hemberger said. “If people don’t want to be lower, then they have the ability to win and get higher in two years. Winter has historically been our most successful season, and every single program can compete for a state title.”

One thing that was left out of the release was the bowling schedule. According to Hemberger, this is due to the Texas Station being closed down, which means the bowling center that some schools call home aren’t open either. Once the misplaced schools find a center to call home, the schedule will be released.

“I was slightly disappointed,” Keith said. “I was really excited to start my [first] coaching season and get that sneak peak of what’s to come. I know it’s nobody’s fault except the people who are above everybody that works at this school. Being a first-year coach, I think it was kind of disappointing because now I have to wait.”

While the regular season for most sports has been announced, the post season is still up in the air. The dates for the regional tournament for each program has yet to be announced, while the state tournaments aren’t even being discussed.

“[Not having state] would be a dramatic shame,” senior bowler Brysen Mortensen said. “As an athlete, from your freshman to your senior year, no matter what you accomplish, you always want to have that last year. To go out with a bang, whether you win or not. You always want to finish the race. But with this whole pandemic, it feels like all of the bad things piled up in one play. But even if we only have a regional, we can at least still try and compete [for a title].