Rabbs excited about new 3A challenges

To many coaches and football fans across the state of Texas, Feb. 1 UIL realignment is like a second Christmas.
Most alignment predictions are close and some are completely a surprise.
When I found out Atlanta had dropped to Class 3A Division 1, I concluded they would play Hooks, Hughes Springs, Jefferson, New Boston and Redwater.
I was nearly correct until the UIL tossed Mt. Vernon into the fold.
The Rabbits will play some familiar teams in district from its time in the old Class 3A format.
Hooks made the playoffs last season and moved up from Division II. 
Atlanta hasn’t played the Hornets since 2001 and enjoy an all-time 26-8-1 series record against Hooks.
Atlanta hasn’t played Hughes Springs since 1987 and owns a 12-6-1 series record against the Mustangs.
Hughes Springs bowed out of the state playoffs in the second round this past season.
Atlanta and Jefferson haven’t played one another since 2005. The Rabbs own a 35-17-1 series record over the Bulldogs.
Jefferson also made it to the second round of the playoffs last year.
Atlanta hasn’t played Redwater since 2001 and enjoys a 6-0 series lead over the Dragons.
Redwater also made it to the playoffs last season.
Atlanta and Mt. Vernon last met in 2011. Atlanta owns a slight 13-12 series advantage, but Mt. Vernon finished last year with a, 11-1, 6-0 record.
The only team in the new district that Atlanta has played continuously for the past few years has been New Boston. 
Atlanta owns a 48-14-2 all-time record against the Lions and since the two teams began playing again in 2014 after a 4-year hiatus the Rabbs have outscored New Boston 202-22 during a stretch of four straight wins.
Atlanta AD Matt McClure had this to say about the new district and drop into Class 3A.
“It’s exciting to see new faces of teams we’ve faced in the past and it’s going to be a very competitive district,” McClure said. “We’ve played these teams before back when I was in school and back when Coach Ben Scharnberg was here and we’re very excited to play against them again.”
“Aside from us making the playoffs, Jefferson, Hooks, Hughes Springs, Mt. Vernon and Redwater all made the playoffs last year,” McClure added. “We have a really good team coming back and feel we should be able to compete well and we’re excited at the possibilities to come.”
In other sports… gone are the days of driving to Paris and North Lamar.
Atlanta will now enjoy shorter trips to destinations for volleyball, basketball and so on.
The Rabbs will face DeKalb, Hooks, New Boston, Paul Pewitt, Queen City and Redwater in District 14-3A.
Class 3A Division 1 football districts are crowded with 106 teams shoved into 16 districts, and other sports in Class 3A have around 232 teams shoved into 32 districts.
With a solid amount of student-athletes, school pride, success and a substantial athletic résumé the Rabbits look to make statements all across the board.

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