Andy Mills

Daily Sun file photo/Ron Farmer

Rice coach Andy Mills has led his Bulldogs into the playoffs the last four years, and Rice, Mildred and Blooming Grove will continue to play in the same district for the next two years.

The Golden Circle trio of Mildred, Rice and Blooming Grove -- all rivals in every sport -- will remain in the same district for the next two years.

The UIL announced the realignment for football and basketball districts for the next two years on Monday morning and the Eagles, Bulldogs and Lions will remain in the same district with a couple of wrinkles in football and no changes in basketball.

The threesome will once again compete in the District 7-3A DII football conference, which dropped powerhouse Buffalo as the district went from eight to seven teams.

Mildred, Rice, Blooming Grove, Edgewood, Palmer, Scurry-Rosser and Gateway Charter make up the new district for 2020 and 2021.

“I like that we are still together in the same district, and I like the idea of going form eight teams to seven,” said Rice coach Andy Mills, whose team has reached the playoffs the last four years. “I’m glad it’s seven teams instead of eight. I feel all the teams in the district will be improved..”

Rice will play four non-district games and Mills feels good about the pre-district schedule, which consists of Chilton, Groesbeck, Italy and Kerens.

The matchup between Rice and Kerens should be a good one between two strong GC programs.

“We haven’t played Kerens since I’ve been here,” said Mills, who will be in his sixth year at Rice next fall. “I like our (pre-district) schedule. I think they are all good teams and not lopsided for or against us.”

Rice has one of the top boys basketball teams in the Golden Circle along with Blooming Grove. Those two teams have met three times in the last four years in the Kiwanis Classic title game. Rice, Mildred and BG will be back in District 18-3A, where the eight-team field remained the same in basketball. Mildred, Rice and Blooming Grove will continue to play Eustace, Kemp, Palmer, Scurry-Rosser and Malakoff.

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