I’ve got a few pieces of information about reclassification and potential league makeovers to add to this story about the Narrows League expanding to 15 schools that ran in Tuesday’s newspaper, which said that Capital, North Thurston, Timberline and Yelm will become members of the 30-year-old conference, beginning next fall.
It looks like the Narrows League will not add any other schools. I spoke today with Bellarmine Prep athletic director Ed Ploof and the Narrows League set an Oct. 1 deadline for applications to join the league and no other schools have submitted an application. Of course, when we went through this same enrollment count process two years ago, Shelton missed the application deadline by months and still gained entry into the Narrows League.
The SPSL 3A and Nisqually League 2A could look different next fall, too. Clover Park and Franklin Pierce could potentially be reclassified as 2A schools. At Clover Park, athletic director Scott Nordi said his “in-building” numbers put the enrollment count of 10-12 graders at about 800 students. That number will increase when students that attend alternative high schools, Running Start, etc., are factored in. But when you consider that the cutoff between 3A and 2A right now is around 910 students, Clover Park could be headed for 2A status.
Nordi said the Clover Park administration has not decided what it would do — opt-up or play in 2A — if the school is reclassified.
The bigger issue here is that the enrollment cycle is only two years. Just when schools get the enrollment cycle put behind them, they are forced to think about the next one. Multi-classification leagues helps alleviate some of this, but not all. The two-year cycle is especially difficult for “bubble” schools that sit near the classification dividing lines. An amendment that proposed a four-year enrollment cycle was voted down at the WIAA Rep Assembly in April. Don’t be surprised to see it put to another vote in the spring.
“The constant change is not good,” said Nordi, who has seen his school be a member of the Seamount, WCC and SPSL 3A in the last five years. “A two-year cycle is too often. It causes too much movement up and down.”