It’s safe to count New Waverly’s Ken Craig and Trinity’s Robert Davis in the group of Texas high school coaches who were more than satisfied with the University Interscholastic League’s latest realignment and reclassification list, which was released early Friday morning.

Throw Madisonville’s Greg Morgan into the group of disgruntled coaches.

The Mustangs, for the first time in 20 years, will compete in a district with schools to the west of Madisonville. Starting this fall, Madisonville will clash with Caldwell, Cameron Yoe, Navasota, Rockdale, Taylor and Bryan Rudder, a new school in the Brazos Valley that is opening later this year with only freshman and sophomore students.

Being grouped in a district with Taylor High School means 100-mile trips for the Mustangs. Additionally, the competitive level in the new District 24-3A will be extremely high, especially for a Madisonville football team that is losing more than 30 seniors this spring.

“This is something we were not hoping for,” Morgan said Friday. “Right now, teams in that new district are rolling through some good kids and good classes. Navasota and Rockdale are bringing back the bulk of their teams, and Caldwell is coming off a tremendous season. Cameron Yoe traditionally has been very powerful, too.

“There are 100 miles between us and Taylor High School. That’s OK on a Friday night, but what about a basketball game on a Tuesday night? We heard a rumor about this happening, but we were hoping for something else.”

New Waverly and Trinity high schools will move out of District 26-2A this fall and join the new District 21-2A with Buffalo, Centerville, Corrigan-Camden and Groveton. Onalaska and Anderson-Shiro will compete in 21-2A in basketball and other sports, but not football. Anderson-Shiro is coming up from Class A.

No longer will the Bulldogs and Tigers have to load up the school bus and take the long and windy journey to Lexington. In their new district, New Waverly and Trinity can jump on I-45 to make their longest trips to Centerville and Buffalo.

“We’re pleased with the new district,” said Craig, New Waverly’s athletic director and head football coach. “That was one of the scenarios we were talking about, with two basketball (only) teams and six football teams in the district.”

Davis, the Tigers’ athletic director and head football coach, won’t miss the long rides to Lexington and Franklin, schools in the current District 26-2A.

“This realignment did us a great service,” Davis said. “The travel is not nearly as extensive. It’s still tough with Buffalo, Centerville, Corrigan, Groveton and New Waverly. Everybody will probably look at it and say New Waverly, Corrigan and Groveton are the three teams to beat, but I think we’ll have a chance. Our kids are sure working hard.”

With Groveton returning to Class 2A and joining the new 21-2A league, a couple of old rivalries will be renewed. Trinity and Groveton will have a cross-county clash later this fall. New Waverly is also looking forward to playing the Indians, according to the Bulldogs’ boss.

“There is a lot of history between those schools,” Craig said, “so it will be nice to play them again.”

Davis added, “Getting to play Groveton is a great thing for Trinity. That’s a family affair for a lot of our kids. Trinity and Groveton are 20 minutes apart, so that will be a fun thing. It’ll probably be a war, but it will be a fun week. Hopefully, it’s late enough in the year and it will be meaningful. That would be really great if Trinity and Groveton are playing for a district title or a spot in the playoffs.”

In addition to the move to the west, Madisonville was thrown for another loop or two.

There are seven teams in the new District 24-3A, which forces an open date during the district season for all of the schools. Strangely, the UIL did not create a District 23-3A. That means a first-round bye for the playoff qualifiers in 24-3A in all sports.

“I thought the UIL was trying to eliminate those seven-team districts,” Morgan said. “Not only will we have a bye in the middle of the district season, we’ll have a bye before the playoffs start, if we make the playoffs. That could be good or bad.

“The UIL always surprises people. This is a year when they gave us a big surprise.”