UIL realignment could cost AISD big time

The Amarillo Independent School District is soon going to have to pay a hefty price for Tascosa High School athletes to be able to travel to games next year.

They have been lumped into a district with schools as far south as Abilene, Midland and Odessa, making things more difficult for the Rebels and also their fans.

"The only thing we had hoped for was that Tascosa would be put into a seven team district rather than a nine team district, we had hoped that Abilene would go east," said AISD Athletic Director, Brad Theissan.

Instead the Rebels will now have to travel more than four hours just to play in some of their games, while Amarillo High will now stay in town.

"We were anticipating a certain amount of increase in travel anyway, of course adding Abilene to the mix adds to that and we'll have to look at what we're talking about, but we had anticipated anywhere between $75-$100,000 extra in travel from Tascosa's side of it."

$100,000 is a lot of money just for travel, but Theissen says it's something they're just going to have to deal with.

"We don't have the option, the UIL creates a district and as a school we're going to have to find some ways to come up with that money, but we'll make sure the kids are taken care of."

One other aspect of this that has to be taken into consideration is parents and fan travel, with four hour trips, that'll make things a little tougher.

"You have a good home crowd at each ball game but the visiting crowd is always sparse and that's probably not going to change in this case because of the travel and that's not something we're happy about, part of the way this turned out, that's kind of the hand we're dealt and so we'll have to make the best of it."

There is also concern with how much class time the students will be missing while on these long road trips, and Theissen says it's going to take some creative scheduling to solve those problems.

Theissan also said with Amarillo High dropping down to a more localized district the money saved should slightly offset some of the travel.