Ronnie Striplin

Daily Sun photo/Ron Farmer

Dawson coach Ronnie Striplin

Life on the gridiron just changed for Dawson's Bulldogs, who were the winningest team in the Golden Circle in 2019.

The UIL announced the realignment for football and basketball districts for the 2020 and 2021 seasons on Monday morning, and Dawson has moved up in football.

The UIL made several changes for the 2A teams in the Golden Circle, including moving Dawson up to Class 2A DI in football, where the Bulldogs will now be in the same district with Kerens, moving Frost out of the same basketball district with Kerens, and moving Hubbard down to Class 1A in basketball.

Dawson won 10 games and marched to the third round of the Class 2A DII football playoffs, but the school has grown and Ronnie Striplin's team will now play in Class 2A DI.

That doesn't mean Dawson won't continue to win. In fact, if the Bulldogs had stayed in 2A DII they would have been in one of the most brutal football districts in the state with three-time state champ Mart and Bremond, which is just as formidable at winning state titles.

Dawson is now in the same football district with Kerens as the two Golden Circle teams will compete in District 8-2A DI over the next two seasons.

Kerens and Dawson will be in the six-team district that includes Marlin, Axtell, Cayuga and Italy. That's a new mix for both Dawson and Kerens, which has a new coach in Ted Patton, who was recently hired.

But they won't be in the same basketball district.

Kerens will play in District 19-2A, which consists of state powers LaPoynor and Martin's Mill, and Cayuga, Frankston Cross Roads and Kerens.

Dawson will play basketball in District 18-2A, which includes Mart, Bremond, Axtell, Wortham and Marlin's powerhouse boys and girls basketball teams.

The change at Dawson means the Bulldogs will no longer play their biggest rival, Hubbard, which dropped in enrollment, in district games.

Hubbard dropped down to Class 1A in basketball and will play in District 26-1A along with Avalon, Bynum, Coolidge, Milford, Penelope and Trinidad.

The Jaguars will play in District 10-2A DII in football along with Golden Circle rival Frost. Those two schools will have their hands full in the most powerful 2A DII football district in Texas as Mart and Bremond will no doubt be the huge favorites in the six-team district that includes Chilton and Wortham.

Frost's basketball teams have played in the same district with Kerens in recent years, but the UIL has moved Frost over to District 12-2A, where the Polar Bears and Lady Polar Bears will play Italy and Itasca (from the old 19-2A district) and Meridian, Hamilton, Rio Vista and Valley Mills.

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