As Harvey looms, Austin-area schools revise schedules and plan ahead

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House Park along North Lamar Boulevard near Enfield Road was severely damaged by flood waters from nearby Shoal Creek in 2015. Heavy rains inundated Austin, causing widespread flooding on main thoroughfares along the downtown corridor. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

As Hurricane Harvey continued to slosh toward the Texas Coast on Friday, high school officials across the Austin area were responding to the threat of possible flooding this weekend.

The hurricane, expected to make landfall on the Coastal Bend region early Saturday, likely will trigger waves of storms across Central Texas, according to forecasts. Forecasts of up to 10 inches of rain in the Austin area have prompted several scheduling changes and other precautionary moves.

In Leander and Cedar Park, organizers of the Leander school district’s Volleypalooza tournament were adapting to the likely departure of some of the teams that had planned to compete in the event. Sixteen Houston-area teams, including fifth-seeded Pearland Dawson, indicated they likely would need to leave Friday to avoid the threat of flooding. Matches scheduled for Friday will now begin two hours early, according to tournament director Jacob Thompson, coach of the state-ranked Rouse volleyball team. The earlier start will allow Houston-area teams to play before heading home early Friday afternoon, Thompson said.

“This has been just crazy,” he said. “We are attempting to accommodate everyone, but safety is first, and if they need to go, we support that decision.”

A handful of football scrimmages had been moved from Friday evening to Friday afternoon, including a high-profile meeting between Westlake and Cedar Park, both ranked in preseason state polls. Timberwolves head coach Carl Abseck said the threat of heavy downpours prompted the scrimmage’s shift to 1:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

In Austin, officials were fortifying House Park with sandbags in order to stymie possible floodwaters from Shoal Creek, which runs alongside the stadium at 15th Street and North Lamar Boulevard.

Shoal Creek has overflowed its banks several times since the city implemented flood-control measures after the devastating Memorial Day floods of 1981. In May of 2015, floodwaters reached the second row of seats inside House Park, and portions of the turf were ripped or left rippled by the deluge. The Austin Aztex, the city’s minor-league soccer team that played its home matches at House Park, had to finish out its season at Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Rock.

The Austin school district replaced the turf and fixed electrical issues for approximately $500,000 and had the stadium ready in time for the 2015 football season.

The 2017 high school football season will begin Thursday, when McCallum faces Anderson in the annual Taco Shack Bowl at House Park. House Park also is scheduled to the site of a game between Austin High and McNeil on Sept. 1.

Leal Anderson, athletic director for the Austin school district, said the district is developing an alternative game plan in the event floodwaters again seep into the stadium.

“There’s a little bit of juggling going on, but we’re putting a plan in place,” Anderson said Friday morning.

The Austin school district’s athletic facilities also include Burger Stadium in South Austin and Nelson Field in Northeast Austin. Since the district does not regularly schedule Saturday games, both stadiums would be available at that time and could serve as replacement venues if flooding rendered House Park unusable.

American-Statesman correspondent Butch Hart contributed to this story.

Schedule set for state soccer tournament

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Hawks celebrate the win. Hendrickson won their Regional Quarterfinal playoff match with Round Rock 1-0 on April 4, 2017 at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Henry Huey for Round Rock Leader.

An all-Central Texas Class 6A girls soccer championship match remains a possibility after the UIL released its state pairings Sunday.

Hendrickson (17-4-4), which defeated The Woodlands for the Class 6A Region II championship, will play Region I champion Keller (21-2-2) Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex, which hosts each state-tournament match. Vandegrift (19-1-4), which beat Schertz Steele for the Region IV title, will face Katy Tompkins (18-4-3) Friday at noon in the other Class 6A semifinal.

The winners of those matches will face each other Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Class 6A title game.

The Rouse girls, who beat College Station for the Region III title, will play Region I champion Aledo Thursday at noon in a Class 5A semifinal. Highland Park will play Boerne Champion in the other Class 5A semifinal.

The Class 5A championship match is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.



Wednesday, April 12

Conference 4A Girls Semifinals

11 a.m.            Stephenville (23-4) vs. Athens (15-10-1)

1:30 p.m.        Jasper (26-1) vs. Boerne (20-4-1)


Conference 4A Boys Semifinals

4 p.m.              Houston Wheatley (13-1) vs. Kilgore (19-5-2)

6:30 p.m.        Progreso (24-5-2) vs. Bridgeport (18-3-5)


Thursday, April 13

Conference 5A Girls Semifinals

9:30 a.m.        Dallas Highland Park (25-0) vs. Boerne Champion (16-8-2)

12:00 p.m.      Leander Rouse (20-1-4) vs. Aledo (21-3-3)


Conference 4A Girls Finals

2:30 p.m. Girls Conference 4A Final


Conference 5A Boys Semifinals

5:00 p.m.        Frisco Wakeland (20-4-1) vs. Wichita Falls (16-2-6)

7:30 p.m.        Brownsville Lopez (16-3) vs. Waller (21-5-3)


Friday, April 14

Conference 6A Girls Semifinals

9:30 a.m.        Keller (21-2-2) vs. Pflugerville Hendrickson (17-4-4)

12:00 p.m.      Austin Vandegrift (19-1-4) vs. Katy Tompkins (18-4-3)


Conference 4A Boys Finals

2:30 p.m. Boys Conference 4A Final


Conference 6A Boys Semifinals

5:00 p.m.        Arlington Houston (21-2-2) vs. Pasadena Dobie (20-2-4)

7:30 p.m.        La Joya Juarez-Lincoln (30-3-1) vs. Dallas Jesuit (20-3-1)



Saturday, April 15

11:00 a.m.      Girls Conference 5A Final

1:30 p.m.        Boys Conference 5A Final

4:00 p.m.        Girls Conference 6A Final

6:30 p.m.        Boys Conference 6A Final


*Note: Top of the bracket (team listed first in the pairing) is the home team


Local teams shift districts as UIL announces realignment plans

Westlake quarterback Sam Ehlinger is chased by Lake Travis linebacker Aidan Estrada on Oct. 23, 2015. Westlake and Lake Travis will move to a new district during the fall of 2016 (Ralph Barrera).
Westlake quarterback Sam Ehlinger is chased by Lake Travis linebacker Aidan Estrada on Oct. 23, 2015. Westlake and Lake Travis will move to a new district during the fall of 2016 (Ralph Barrera).

Austin-area schools were on the move on Monday morning.

The University Interscholastic League announced its biennial realignment plan on Monday, and the announcement created many headlines. In addition to new rivalries that were created, some notable shifts were made in the UIL brackets. Among them were the movement of Lake Travis and Westlake, two teams that reached a UIL championship game through Region II, to Class 6A’s fourth region. Cedar Park, which has traveled through Region IV en route to two state championships over the past four years, was also moved to Region III in Class 5A.

Here are the football-related alignments for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years:

DISTRICT 13-6A: Cedar Ridge, Hendrickson, McNeil, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Stony Point, Westwood

DISTRICT 14-6A: Akins, Anderson, Bowie, Del Valle, Manor, San Marcos

DISTRICT 25-6A: Hays, Lake Travis, Leander, Lehman, Vandegrift, Vista Ridge, Westlake

DISTRICT 19-5A: Bastrop, Cedar Creek, Cedar Park, Connally, East View, Elgin, Georgetown, Hutto, Rouse

DISTRICT 25-5A: Austin High, Crockett, LBJ, Lanier, McCallum, Reagan, Travis

DISTRICT 26-5A: Alamo Heights, Boerne Champion, Dripping Springs, Kerrville Tivy, Lockhart, Marble Falls, Medina Valley, Seguin

DISTRICT 13-4A, DIVISION I: Burnet, China Spring, Gatesville, Lampasas, Liberty Hill, Waco La Vega

DISTRICT 14-4A, DIVISION I: Boerne, Canyon Lake, Eastside Memorial, Fredericksburg, Taylor

DISTRICT 9-4A, DIVISION II: Fairfield, Lorena, Mexia, Waco Robinson, Salado, Waco Connally

DISTRICT 10-4A, DIVISION II: Caldwell, Columbus, Giddings, Gonzales, La Grange, Smithville

DISTRICT 13-4A, DIVISION II: Bandera, Geronimo Navarro, Hondo, Llano, Wimberley

DISTRICT 10-3A, DIVISION I: Cameron Yoe, Franklin, Jarrell, Little River Academy, McGregor, Rockdale, Troy

DISTRICT 13-3A, DIVISION I: Ingram Moore, Lago Vista, Luling, Marion, San Antonio Cole, Universal City Randolph

DISTRICT 13-3A, DIVISION II: Blanco, Comfort, Florence, Johnson City, Lexington, Rogers

DISTRICT 13-2A, DIVISION I: Holland, Moody, Normangee, Rosebud-Lott, Thorndale, Thrall

DISTRICT 13-2A, DIVISION II: Bartlett, Burton, Burton, Granger, Milano, Snook, Somerville