By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – As the 2016 UIL Volleyball playoffs get underway and the 2016 football season enters the final week of the regular season – if you listen closely – you can hear the thump, thump, thump of basketballs being dribbled in gyms throughout the East Texas area.

That’s right! Basketball season is upon us once again and several area teams have their eyes on a trip to San Antonio. Before the teams start making plans for the River Walk, however, they will need to get through their individual districts.

And that’s where the issues lie. With the UIL’s re-alignment, several area teams will face district opponents who made the trip to San Antonio last year. Other teams were moved around, natural rivalries were dissolved and some teams will need to make sure they have a roadmap once district play gets started.

The district alignments for the 2016-2017 basketball season are listed below.

In Region IV District 27-1A, the teams are: the Avalon Eagles; the Laneville Yellowjackets; the Milford Bulldogs; the Oakwood Panthers; the Slocum Mustangs; and the Trinidad Trojans.

In Region IV District 28-1A, the teams are: the Apple Springs Eagles; the Burkeville Mustangs; the Chester Yellowjackets; the Groveton Centerville Bulldogs; the Kennard Tigers; the Martinsville Pirates; and the Wells Pirates.

In Region III District 19-2A, the teams are: the Cayuga Wildcats; the Cross Roads Bobcats; the Frost Polar Bears; the Italy Gladiators; the Itasca Cats; the Kerens Bobcats;  and the La Rue La Poynor Flyers.

In Region III District 20-2A the teams are: the Centerville Tigers; the Dallardsville Big Sandy Wildcats; the Grapeland Sandies; the Groveton Indians; the Latexo Tigers; and the Lovelady Lions.

In Region III District 21-2A, the teams are: the Alto Yellow Jackets; the Cushing Bearkats; the Douglass Indians; the Mt. Enterprise Wildcats; the Neches Tigers; and the New Summerfield Hornets.

In Region III District 18-3A, the teams are: the Buffalo Bison; the Elkhart Elks; the Frankston Indians; the Leon Cougars; the Malakoff Tigers; the Teague Lions; and the Westwood Panthers.

In Region III District 21-3A, the teams are: the Anderson-Shiro Owls; the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans; the Crockett Bulldogs; the Hempstead Bobcats; the New Waverly Bulldogs; the Onalaska Wildcats; and the Trinity Tigers.

In Region III District 18-4A, the teams are: the Athens Hornets; the Fairfield Eagles; the Madisonville Mustangs; the Mexia Black Cats; and the Palestine Wildcats

If you’re a fan of any of the area basketball teams, make sure your phone is fully charged, you have enough data available to use Google Maps and you have a road map as a back-up.

The girls began play on Oct. 29 with scrimmages while the actual games begin on Nov. 4. The boys can start scrimmages on Nov. 5 and the first game may be played on Nov. 11.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.