Linden-Kildare ready for new challenges
That’s the word that popped up amongst the Linden-Kildare football faithful and coaching staff alike after the UIL realignment was released Feb. 1.
L-K was ripped from possibly a five to 6-team District 6 and slammed into a 7-team District 11 with teams from Panola, Nacogdoches, Harrison and Shelby counties down south.
L-K will play Beckville, Timpson, Tenaha, Garrison, Harleton and Joaquin for the next two years in football, and that itself was surprising to L-K AD Derek Simmons.
“The first word that came to mind when I received the information was ‘surprised’,” Simmons said. “Most of the so-called experts didn’t see it coming either.”
“The hard part is understanding a move from a 5-team district to a 7-team district,” Simmons added.
Beckville, Garrison and Harleton all dropped down from 3A. Garrison was the only team of those three to make the playoffs this past season.
Tenaha and Timpson moved up from Division II after successful 2017 campaigns. Tenaha finished with only one loss, which came in the state championship game to Muenster.
Timpson finished its season 11-3 after a after a 59-0 loss to Tenaha in the quarterfinals.
Joaquin lost in the first round of the playoffs, and L-K bowed out in the first round after a stellar run throughout the season.
L-K is familiar with Harleton and Tenaha but the rest they’ve never played before.
Historically L-K owns a 6-4 series lead over Harleton and a 2-0 series lead over Tenaha.
Aside from the tough aspect of the new district, Coach Simmons said the team is excited about the new challenges.
“We talked about the new district with the kids and they are as excited as we are about the challenges we will face this next season,” Simmons remarked. “The teams we will face are going to be tough and the new district is loaded, but our kids are excited and we are ready for the challenges and ready to adjust to the new district.”