FOOTBALL DISTRICT SEES CHANGES,
OTHER SPORTS RENEW OLD RIVALRIES
LONGVIEW & PINE TREE ARE GONE; LUFKIN & JACKSONVILLE JOIN
The University Interscholastic League announced its biennial athletic alignments for the 2024-2025 school years on Thursday February 1st, setting district schedules for the next two seasons for all sports.
Marshall competes in 5A Division II for football. The district was previously listed as 8-5A, but moved to 7-5A in the new alignment.
The UIL moved Pine Tree out of the district, sending the Pirates down to 4A Division I. The Jacksonville Indians will move into PT's former slot as they move up from 4A. Jacksonville dropped down in the 2022 alignment.
The remainder of the district consists of the usual East Texas 5A landscape:
This will mark the first season since 2002 that Marshall has not been paired with Pine Tree and Hallsville for district play.
For all other sports Marshall will compete in District 10-5A, which will be the lone East Texas 5A district. Traditionally the UIL has split the region into two 5A districts, but opted for a massive 9-team district this cycle.
This will be the district for volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, and track.
Perhaps the most shocking change in alignment was moving the South East Texas 5A district to district 8, placing them into region II.
This means first round playoff games will be against the likes of Port Neches-Groves, Huntsville, Nederland, Dayton, Montgomery and Montgomery Lake Creek along with New Caney West Fork and Splendora.
In region II, first round games have traditionally been against much closer metroplex teams. This alignment however will have East Texas headed south to the Houston/Golden Triangle area.
Longview was moved up to 6A, taking the Lobos out of the 5A district for all other sports.
MAVERICKS ANNOUNCE 2024 VARSITY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
MAVERICKS TAILOR TOUGH 2024 SCHEDULE WITH OLDTIME RIVALS
No one can accuse Marshall of running away from tough competition on the gridiron as the Mavericks announced their 2024 schedule following the UIL's biennial alignment.
With six district games lined up for 7-5A, that left four openings for non-district competition.
Marshall stacked their schedule with two 6A programs and a 5A Division I program as well.
The Mavs will open the season on August 30th when they host 5A Division I Tyler High. The Lions are Marshall's oldest rivals, dating back to 1908. They split their series in 2022 and 2023 including last season's 5-OT thriller.
On September 6th the Longview Lobos will come to town for the annual contest. The Lobos and Mavs have tangled for 113 seasons, dating back to 1909. It's one of the oldest games in the state. Longview will move back up to 6A next season and will likely be a top 5 team when they come to town.
On September 13th the Mavericks will hit the road to take on longtime rival Tyler Legacy. The Red Raiders are a 6A program now, but Marshall shares more than 50 years of history with them.
The Mavs close out non-district play on the road against the Palestine Wildcats. Marshall has not faced Palestine since 1973. They are a 4A playoff mainstay and always tough at home.
After a bye week on September 27th, the Mavs will then kick off district play.
October 4th Mount Pleasant will come to town in a crucial game to open the playoff race. The Tigers shocked Marshall last season in a stunning loss for Mavs. Revenge may be the order of the evening for this matchup. The Mavs have won 13 of the last 15 meetings.
October 11th Marshall will hit the road to take on their ancient rivals from Texas High at Grimm Stadium. This rivalry dates back to 1910 and the Tigers have won the last four district titles, snapping Marshall's five consecutive district titles in 2020.
The Jacksonville Indians will come to Maverick Stadium on October 18th for another big home game. Marshall has won five straight games against J-ville dating back to 2013.
On October 25th Marshall has a crucial road game to Nacogdoches. The Mavs have won 9 of their last 10 games against the Dragons and 18 of the last 20. Don't be fooled though....the Dragons are no easy out.
The Battle of Harrison County will come to town on November 1st as the Hallsville Bobcats head to Maverick Stadium. Marshall has won 8 of the last 9 contests, but the series has historically been a close game. Can't over look anyone....especially in a rivalry game.
The regular season finale will be a tough road game at Whitehouse to take on the Wildcats. Marshall has won 5 of the last 6 games in the series, but make no mistake about it.... the Wildcats are always tough to beat. Prepare yourself for another annual barnburner.
Marshall will scrimmage Pine Tree August 22 at Maverick Stadium.