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Marble Falls dropping to Class 4A

Marble Falls High School football team

The University Interscholastic League doesn’t announce district realignments until February and March, but the league’s latest conference cutoff numbers released Wednesday, Dec. 8, puts Marble Falls High School in Class 4A starting next fall. Photo by Mark Stracke

After a stint in the Class 5A conference, Marble Falls High School is dropping into Class 4A based on the University Interscholastic League’s conference cutoff numbers and preliminary enrollment figures released Wednesday, Dec. 8. Marble Falls moved into Class 5A in 2014 after the UIL added Class 6A and some schools moved up a classification with realignment.

“For our athletic department as a whole, it puts us on a more even playing field,” said Brian Herman, the Marble Falls Independent School District athletic director and head football coach. “For a number of years, we’ve been in the bottom five percent of enrollment and one of the smallest Class 5A (schools) in the state of Texas. We were all competitive against much larger, more suburban types. We were at a disadvantage on depth and resources. We’re pleased to be able to compete with other athletic departments that are more similar to ours.”

The move is for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years. 

Marble Falls, which submitted a student enrollment of 1,229, joins Burnet High School, which turned in an enrollment number of 940, in Class 4A.

The UIL will not announce district realignment until February for football, basketball, and volleyball. Districts for other extracurricular activities will be released by mid-March.

The UIL conference cutoff numbers are based on the number of students currently enrolled in eighth through 11th grades. Cutoffs are:

  • 6A — 2,223 and above
  • 5A — 1,300-2,224
  • 4A — 545-1,299
  • 3A — 250-544
  • 2A — 105-249
  • 1A — 104.9 and below

The UIL further separates football programs into Division I (large) and Division II (small) in each class. On the gridiron, the Mustangs and the Bulldogs will be among the 99 schools competing in Class 4A Division I.

As head football coach, Herman made clear that a drop to Class 4A doesn’t mean the competition will be any easier. Marble Falls will leave District 15-5A Division II, where it had a two-year record of 16-7 overall and 8-4 in district, finishing third both years. It was 3-2 in the playoffs.

“Everything comes down to the drawing of your district,” he said. “We were in a favorable district the last two years.”

MFISD Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen noted the move to Class 4A also affects other extracurricular activities, including theater, choir, band, and academic teams.

“The move to Class 4A is obviously going to be energetic,” he said. “Our fine arts program will see a change in who they compete against like everyone else. It will be tough and a challenge, but it will definitely energize all those programs, not just the athletic side.”

Elsewhere in the Highland Lakes, Llano High School turned in an enrollment number of 505, which will keep the Yellow Jackets in Class 3A Division I football and Class 3A non-football districts. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Marble Falls High School had been a Class 5A school since 1994. It moved into Class 5A in 2014 after the UIL added Class 6A and moved some schools into higher conferences.