Marble Falls Middle School will play in a new sports district that’s similar to the high school’s beginning in the 2022-23 school year.
The football teams will play Burnet, Lago Vista and Lampasas.
“They’re closer to us in who we are,” Marble Falls Middle School athletic coordinator for sports medicine and athletic coordinator Doc Harrington said. “I think this new district allows us to be on equal footing.”
Middle school coordinators wanted the district to mirror the high school’s district that includes Comal Davenport, the new high school that will be allowed to qualify for the playoffs beginning in 2022, and Fischer Canyon Lake. But coordinators at those southern middle schools chose to play in a different district that’s closer to them. As a result, Harrington suggested to his counterparts in Burnet, Lago Vista and Lampasas they should all play each other twice. But that suggestion was dismissed. Harrington filled out the schedule with Bee Caves, which is part of the Lake Travis Independent School District, Fredericksburg, West Ridge, which is part of the Eanes Independent School District, and Wimberley.
Most games will be played on Thursdays. Home games will remain at Pony Stadium, 1511 Pony Circle Drive. Once the dates and times are confirmed with officials, schedules will be released.
The volleyball district includes Burnet, Georgetown Gateway Prep, Jarrell, Lago Vista, Lampasas and Taylor. Harrington also scheduled Johnson City.
He noted the old football district that included feeder schools to Liberty Hill, Georgetown and Hutto had resources and location that allowed those athletes to prepare in ways most Marble Falls players don’t have access to. Hutto and Liberty Hill each have two middle schools, while Georgetown has four. The volleyball district featured teams located in Georgetown and Liberty Hill.
“It was tough for us to get wins,” the coordinator said. “The last few years, their A teams have players who play club or get private tutors year around. They have more opportunities to do things than our kids. And they get to develop more kids. We competed — that was the thing. As long as you’re competing and doing your best, that’s all we ask of you.”
Where the volleyball teams began and where they finished illustrates the improvement of what Harrington is seeking.
“We have young coaches who are really working hard at developing kids,” he said. “They are teaching the game. Schools we played, especially the second time, were very competitive. We beat some, and coaches were very complimentary.”
New districts that feature opponents comparable to location, enrollment and resources are elements that lead to victories. It’s also helpful if those wins come at the middle school so athletes have the confidence and belief they can succeed when they work toward playing on the varsities.
“Winning always helps, no one is going to disagree about that,” Harrington said. “My mandate to the coaches was ‘let’s drill kids, let’s teach them the game, let’s make it fun.’ It’s all about being competitive. It’s our job to make sure kids know we did our best. Give me everything you’ve got and play as hard as you can, and I’ll take what comes up on the scoreboard. It’s about effort and competition.”
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