If you’ve read this story, you know major changes could be coming to the high school sports landscape in the South Sound.
As the story says, Bellarmine Prep, Central Kitsap, Gig Harbor, Olympia and South Kitsap are expected to apply for admission to the South Puget Sound League by Monday.
So, will they be accepted?
From the conversations I’ve had the past couple days with more than a dozen athletic directors, coaches and administrators, I can say with certainty that I don’t know for sure. From the SPSL’s perspective, there are positives and negatives to expanding. However, schools that go so far as submitting an application rarely get turned down for admission.
Expanding the SPSL will be a major topic of discussion at the league’s monthly AD meeting next week. Eventually, the league’s principals will vote on the matter and that could occur as late as January.
The main driver behind the five schools’ decision to leave the Narrows League is stability and a desire to play in a single-classification conference. The Narrows League 4A would be a six-school league next year – Mount Tahoma and Shelton will be reclassified as 3A schools – and that wasn’t appealing.
If the five schools are accepted by the SPSL, that would leave the Narrows League as a 3A/4A conference, with Stadium as the only 4A school and Foss, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Shelton, Timberline, Wilson and Yelm as 3A schools. (Capital will be reclassified as a 2A school and apply to join the Evergreen Conference next week).
Tacoma School District athletic director Jennifer Kubista said it was too early to know how the Tigers would qualify for the postseason – they’d be the only 4A school in the West Central District not in the SPSL.
The story also has information on potential changes for the SPSL 3A, SPSL 2A, Nisqually League, so if the school you follow is in one of those leagues, give it a read.
We’ll follow this story and other issues related to reclassification and realignment as they unfold. The enrollment counts for the 2012-14 cycle will be released by the WIAA next week and we’ll have an update then, if not sooner.