School moves up to 6A next year

UIL alignment changes move Lions up to 6A


Jack Densmore

The football team huddled before a game. Vista Ridge and Vandegrift also moved up to 6A for the next fall season.

by Jack Densmore, Editor-in-Chief

With a change in UIL alignments, the Lions will be a 6A school next year due to enrollment at 2,187 students, above the UIL cutoff enrollment number for 6A at 2,150 above. This results in a change to sports opponents, mostly district games, as the teams sports we are required to play against will be different. Vandegrift and Vista Ridge join Leander in the 6A category, with their enrollments over 2,200 students each. Cedar Park will remain in 5A, and Rouse will return to 5A after 2 years in 6A.

“The competition will be greater, but we played 3 6A schools non-district this year,” Athletic Coordinator Tim Smith said. “We were very competitive in each of those games on the varsity and sub varsity levels. As far as our other programs. We have excellent coaches on staff and will do an excellent job preparing their programs for any competition. Most of our programs have 6A programs on their schedules already. The kids at Leander are always ready for a challenge.”

For example, the Lions will no longer face Cedar Park in district play, but could face other area opponents such as Round Rock and Westlake.

“We will change how we will prepare but not because we are going to 6A,” Smith said. “We were in a pretty tough district last year. Our focus is to improve, compete, train our young and make a difference each day. If we do that, we will be pretty good football team.”

Future varsity players also gave their reactions to the change. 

I believe that we can not only compete but win a lot of games.

— Kyle Murdock

“After being on varsity my sophomore and junior year the attitude vastly improved, and I’m confident it will again we have a great group of coaches and players, and I believe that we can not only compete but win a lot of games,” junior Kyle Murdock said.

The change also affects all other sports as well, such as baseball, softball, etc.

“I think we are just as ready as the other teams if not more,” junior softball player Abbey Orlich said. “We have the talent and we will practice to the best of our ability to reach our goal, which is state.”

The change also affects band and academics, and not just sports.

“The move to 6A will definitely increase the level of competitiveness for UIL competitions; however, we are currently in a highly competitive UIL district for Speech & Debate at the 5A level,” debate coach Terry Hunt said. “Also, we compete in Texas Forensic Association tournaments that do not divide competitors by classification, so we are usually accustomed to competing against speakers and debaters from schools in all UIL classifications, as well as private schools.”

The UIL will assign UIL competition districts in February, and at that time, scheduling can begin for all of games and contests for the next two years.