SNOQUALMIE – The next few years could be interesting off the field for Mount Si High School and the rest of the Kingco 3A Conference.
Recent changes approved by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to the state’s classification structure for high school sports mean a smaller Kingco 3A. Mount Si will not be directly affected by these changes, so the Wildcats themselves will not be changing leagues or classifications, but other teams will be moved.
The new structure calls for certain percentages of schools to be placed in each classification. Under the new terms the B class would get 28 percent and all A classes would then each receive 18 percent of the remaining schools. The new structure would exist for eight years at a time, much longer than the existing two year cycle. The proposal would go into effect in time for the 2006-2007 school year.
However, in the near term there is significant change coming to the league as both Skyline and Cedarcrest are departing at the end of the year. The Spartans are moving to Kingco 4A, while the Red Wolves are joining a new league comprised of a large number of former rivals from the old Cascade League.
With Skyline being so close to the current 4A cutoff line – they were 16 students over the limit, which stands at 1,201 students, according to the WIAA – it is possible that the recently approved changes could bring them back to the Kingco 3A in two years time. But Mount Si High School Athletic Director Greg Hart says it’s too early to tell.
“Based on today’s numbers, Skyline would still be 3A. I heard [recently] that the number that the new classification system, the 18 percent, puts the 4A level at 1,278, so if they continue growing [between now and 2006] they’d go over that, but as of today they would be still 3A,” he said.
As for Cedarcrest, a chart in the Seattle Times claims that with the new structure, the Red Wolves would drop to 2A; however, Hart couldn’t confirm that fact.
“I don’t know if they’ll drop down to the 2A level or not. I have not looked at those numbers,” Hart said.
Another school that may be affected is Interlake. Should the Saints drop to 2A under the new structure, they could opt up and remain in the conference.
“I don’t know exactly how they feel, but it makes sense to me that they’d probably opt up, because a lot of times multiple classification schools, just based on the geography of where they are, want to compete with other schools in their league, so chances are I would think they would opt up,” the athletic director said.
For at least the next two years, major changes could come to schedules for many sports.
“Well, a lot of the sports we’re looking at single round schedules where we’re picking up more nonleague contests,” said Hart.
Hart thinks the chances of expanding again to 10, or maybe more teams, is remote.
“Right now we’ll be status quo unless we have other schools that would approach us about the possibility of joining us,” he said.
Asked about the reports that circulated in other media over the winter about the Renton schools’ interest in joining Kingco, Hart doesn’t expect they will be joining.
“The feeling that I have heard is that the Renton principals and the Highline principals are pretty committed to staying together as a league and so I don’t have any indications that I have heard that they would really be serious about stepping out and changing leagues,” Hart said.