District of Doom
District 10-5A Earns Nickname After Period of Misfortune
November 10, 2017
Offensive lineman senior Clayton Franks links his right arm with senior Mason Kinsey’s left arm as the varsity football captains make their way to the middle of the field meeting halfway with Lake Ridge high school’s captains. They shake hands before choosing sides of the coin, their eyes following the small disk as it rises above their heads into the air.
Last football season, District 10-5A earned the nickname of “The District of Doom.” That nickname proves to be more fitting as time passes, not just for football, but for several other UIL sports.
Franks started playing varsity football his sophomore year when Legacy was in District 8-5A. He said that playing in District 10-5A proves to be beneficial.
“People call us the little SEC or, the district of doom, and rightfully so. This district isn’t just tough for the sport of football, it’s tough for [anything you can name],” Franks said. “Playing in District 10-5A is a blessing because I get to go against the best in the metroplex. And I firmly believe that [MISD] alone is probably the best district, actually no doubt is the best district in the state for football.”
Lancaster, Legacy, Summit, Lake Ridge, Timberview, Waxahachie, Red Oak and Midlothian make up District 10-5A and each school proves to be an athletic powerhouse in some way.
Midlothian’s boys’ soccer team went 8-3-3 in district play last season and made it to round five of the playoffs. Red Oak’s varsity football team currently sits at the bottom of the district leaderboard, but their varsity volleyball team finished number one in the district and clinched a playoff spot. Franks said the biggest lesson he look away from playing in District 10-5A was how important relationship was.
“[Legacy] is the team who has the best relationships within the team. It’s a brotherhood,” Franks said. “Selfish teams get selfish results. If there are enough selfish teammates on a team then when stuff goes bad everybody’s pointing the finger at each other or pointing fingers at the coaches.”
The talent of this district makes the run for playoffs even more intense. As Sports Day HS writer Matt Wixon wrote, “This district simply has more than four playoff-worthy teams.”
Legacy’s boys’ basketball team has missed out on the playoffs for the past four years, but state champion teams Timberview and Lancaster have come out of district 10-5A for the past two. Head boys’ basketball Coach Cornelius Mitchell said that he’s trying to make kids more confident.
“[I’m] just trying to get kids more confident in playing. Sometimes as coaches we put so many restrictions on them that kids aren’t as confident,” Coach Mitchell said. “We want our team to be more player led. Kids have a lot more fun playing that way.”
Coach Mitchell said some of the competition comes from the reputations that schools have after they have good seasons.
“I tell our guys, our some has to be better than our parts. If you break our guys down individually we’re not gonna have the same guys as other schools,” Coach Mitchell said. “If I’m a good swimmer and I move in, I’m going to Legacy. But if I’m a good basketball player, I’m gonna go to Timberview.”
The district is tough because it’s unpredictable. Last football season, Waxahachie went undefeated until they faced a tough loss to Legacy. Then, the number one ranked team in the district went on to miss the playoffs. Lancaster went undefeated in district play, passed Waxahachie for the number one district spot and made it all the way to round four of the playoffs. Yet, this season they currently hold a district record of 4-5 and an overall record of 2-4.
Football Coach Rob Hagey said that making every practice intense makes up a big part of competing in District 10-5A.
“You can’t let down from week to week. You have to work as hard as you can each week and get better each week, because the games don’t get any easier,” Coach Hagey said. “This is one of the toughest districts in the state and we have to be prepared for a fight every week. We can’t have a bad night and you play like you practice.”
The UIL district realignments will take place this school year and go into effect by the start of the 2018 school year. According to UIL’s realignment policy, Multi-High School Districts with seven or fewer high schools in the same conference, like MISD, should be assigned to the same UIL District. This leaves four spots for alterations in the current district lineup.
Though UIL decided last March to break football districts up into two divisions based on enrollment size, it shouldn’t affect any MISD schools. Although our 5A high schools meet the 1,742 to 2,149 division one enrollment requirements, this change could increase travel for the district. Head Boys’ Soccer Coach Michael Keel believes that District 10-5A can be just as rough for boys’ soccer as for anyone else.
“Every game is a battle.There are no weak sisters in the district,” Coach Keel said. “Last year we had six teams that could have easily made the playoffs in many other districts.”
Coach Keel believes that the Broncos will not fall short on work or leadership this season in preparation for district play.
“We have to be on our A game every night. If you take a team lightly, they will make you pay. We will not be outworked this year,” Coach Keel said. “Our senior leadership has done a great job of leading by example during [our] offseason preparations.”