Leander Moves to 4A, Reunites with Cedar Park

By Emma Berkel

   On Feb. 2, the University Interscholastic League realigned all athletic and academic teams for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. UIL realignments occur every two years, and each time schools across the state prepare to face changes. Following the introductions of Rouse and Vandergrift in 2009, Cedar Park High School dropped to 4A, and this time it’s Leander.

   Realignments are configured based on student populations, and the student body parameters for the 5A conference are set at 2,090 and above. This past year, Leander’s roster fell short with 1,900 students.

   Having spent over three years playing 5A, Leander’s expected to rank within the state’s top ten. The 5A conference is known for its tough teams and its tough players. Pooling from the largest student bodies, it’s more likely for teams to gather an all-star group. These giants have constituted Leander’s opposition, and they’re what our varsity team has been trained to withstand.

   Moving to 4A, Leander will instead encounter smaller schools. It’s believed that a smaller school will produce a weaker team, one that centers on one or two star players. However, this is not always the case. In 4A, Leander will play against Vandergrift, Vista Ridge, Dripping Springs, Marble Falls, Rouse, and perhaps most notably, Cedar Park.

   For sure, playing against Cedar Park for district will inspire a vicious revival of the old Cedar Park and Leander rivalry. A staple of that rivalry is fierce competition, and constantly, the tides between our two schools shift. Cedar Park has proven to be a tough opponent, and if the other 4A schools are anything like it, the 4A conference should challenge the Lions yet.