Reporting J.D. Miles
McKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – No one wants to be constantly beat up by someone bigger. But that’s what some McKinney high school students fear will happen to them after the UIL moved them into a district where they will compete with schools more than twice their size.
The move has left athletes and academics both crying foul.
The decision was made by the University Interscholastic League to move McKinney and McKinney Boyd High Schools into a new district to compete against the 4 largest high schools in Texas.
McKinney High’s football team went 0-11 last year in 4-A and the Lions start spring practice knowing that they will go up against powerhouses Plano and Allen next season.
The UIL aligns schools by the student population, and McKinney’s enrollment was just high enough to move it up to the highest level 5A.
With 2,121 students, McKinney and McKinney Boyd with its 2900 students, are by far the smallest high schools in a new district alignment which includes Plano East with 6,015 students, Plano with 5,314 students, Plano West with 4,944 students and Allen High School with 5,388 students.
That means adding to the schools athletic achievements won’t be easy.
“That would be the equivalent of a 4A high school competing against a 2A high school, says Cody Cunningham, McKinney School District Spokesman.
Students are preparing for a challenging year on the athletic fields. “I feel like its unfair we are sort of at the lower end of the totem pole and I feel like its going to be a tough competition, says Madison Burns, McKinney High School student.
It’s not just on the playing field where students feel like they’ve been kicked. The academic decathlon team led by Mark Bayer will face a mental challenge.
“Giants fall easy sometimes is it fair the kids don’t seem to think so but we’ll see how it turns out,” says Bayer.
Still, some student-athletes are optimistic and determined not to be pushed around by powerhouse schools.
“Most people are afraid to go to 5A but I think it gives us a really good chance,” says Darrin Donaldson, McKinney High School basketball player.
McKinney’s appeal of the decision has been denied.
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