Home » Sulphur Springs moves to 4A

Sulphur Springs moves to 4A

by Tyler Lennon

For the first time since the 2013-2014 school year, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats will be moving back down to 4A, after the UIL released their new classifications for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 years. The Wildcats have spent the last eight seasons in 5A. 

Sulphur Springs saw plenty of success at the 4A level, before moving up to 5A. Their one State championship in football was in 4A, back in the 2008 season.

Speculation of the news that Sulphur Springs could be moving to 4A has been swirling around for a few weeks now. In early November, then Athletic Director Greg Owens spoke about the possibility and what it would mean for the athletic department as a whole.

“Would it allow us to be more competitive? Absolutely, I think so,” Owens said. “Saying that, does that mean it’s going to be easier? Not necessarily.”

Owens spoke more specifically about what that would mean for the football program. “I think the difference in 5A and 4A a lot of the time is going to be the lineman,” Owens said. “How big their linemen are, we’ve faced some massive linemen this year.”

“Would it be an advantage? Yeah, but you don’t just stamp your ticket and say ‘we’re going to play in the state championship’ there’s still lots of really good football and you don’t want to play some of these 4A’s. You just really don’t.”

Since joining 5A in the 2014-2015 season the football program has had it’s struggles, going 25-56 over the span of eight seasons. While the football program has struggled, the athletic department as a whole has seen a good bit of success, excelling in a number of sports.

The boys basketball program in particular has seen a ton of success at the 5A level, having back-to-back 30 win seasons in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, including a trip to the State Tournament. The girls basketball team has had their fair share of success as well, winning 24 or more games in four consecutive seasons starting in the 2015-2016 season. 

The girls soccer team had a very strong run in their first few years in 5A, going 51-24-6 over a three-year stretch, while the boys soccer team had their deepest playoff run in school history just one year ago.

The Lady Cats softball team has also seen a lot of success at the 5A level, making it all the way to the Regional Semifinals last year.

The move to 4A could be huge for the Sulphur Springs athletic department in all aspects. While Owens spoke about the difficulties they will still have to face, he did seem eager for the potential change.

“Easier? Yeah, do we want to change? Yeah, let’s change,” Owens said. “I’m ready to change it up, let’s do something different.”

Continued coverage of Sulphur Springs’ move to 4A and what district they will play in will be published on Front Porch News as that information is released. The district realignments are expected to be announced in early February.

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