UIL denies Lockhart ISD appeal
By LPR Staff
To protect Lockhart students from the loss of instructional time through an oppressive travel schedule, Lockhart ISD officials appeared before the University Interscholastic League to request a transfer into an Austin-based competitive district, rather than the expansive Hill Country district the Lion
s have been grouped with via the recent UIL realignment process.
Though the UIL executive committee heard what LISD officials believed to be ample evidence to allow the change, the committee took the side of the Austin Independent School District, which did not favor the change, and shut the door on Lockhart’s appeal process.
“While we are disappointed by the decision of the UIL appeals committee to deny our appeal, we recognize that they are tasked with representing the interests of all students in the state,” LISD Superintendent Susan K. Bohn said after the appeal was denied. “We will always take the opportunity to advocate for Lockhart ISD students and our community, and I appreciate the work and support of Coaches Henderson and Herman and Principal Juarez during the appeal process. While the travel in our new UIL district will pose some challenges for our students, coaches, and families, we are excited about showcasing the talents of our students to our new competitors.”
The currently drawn UIL District 26-5A, which includes Marble Falls, Dripping Springs, Boerne and Kerrville, promises Lockhart students more than 1,000 round-trip miles per sports season.
Though the football teams will have to engage in long-distance travel only every other year, all other sports require two rounds of play, once at home and once away. In addition to the late nights on isolated roads, Lockhart’s students will lose untold hours of instructional time to travel for away games.
Had the appeal been granted, the longest travel for Lockhart’s students would be around 42 miles.
Though it has been left unsaid, speculation has been swirling throughout the community that the Austin ISD’s resistance to the change was driven by the growing success of the Lions’ football program in recent years.
“The appeal was about fighting for what was best for all of LISD athletes and trying to keep them in classes longer by reducing travel time,” said LISD Athletic Director Sheila Henderson. “Although I am disappointed by UIL’s decision, our students will continue to excel.”
UIL rules dictate that the new district alignment will begin at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. District 26-5A includes Lockhart, Seguin, Alamo Heights, Kerville Tivy, Boerne-Champion, Castroville Medina Valley, Dripping Springs and Marble Falls.