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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

June 17, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Football and the new KingCo alignment

You might have already noticed that we won’t be having the same sort of daily discussion here during the summer that we’ve had during the year (By the way, how did the blog work in its first year? We’re looking at what we can change for next year, what we can tinker and what we can alter completely. So suggestions are welcome at twyrwich@seattletimes.com). I’ll stay around, posting from time to time, either with tidbits like yesterday’s link or just when something crosses my mind, like it did today.

Preseason rankings and recruiting lists intrigue me. I understand them, I really do. Or at least I think I do. The desire to look ahead I get. The desire to rank I get. The fun of it all I get. Yet how much stock often gets put in them — and I’m especially discussing the recruiting rankings here, but I guess polls can get thrown in here, too — does intrigue me. Because they’re simply so often wrong or meaningless. And I fully expect anyone to throw this post back at me next August when we do our preseason football rankings.

But we won’t be doing that poll today. No rankings for the summer months. That’s my oath. But we can still look ahead, and we can still maybe even have a little fun. We can at least begin talking about how next season can take shape, and what effects some events of the past year will have. And I can start thinking early about football, always a plus. So we’ll begin today by discussing the effect of KingCo’s new alignment.

We sound like a broken record here sometimes, I know. But when it comes to football in this new century, KingCo teams have had their way. Six KingCo 4A teams have played in the last five state championship games. KingCo 3A teams have won the state championship every year since 2000 except for one. It took Jake Locker to break that streak. KingCo’s realignment should have a significant effect on how next season plays out.

The 4A league will feature some powerhouses: Bothell, Skyline, and Woodinville to start, not to mention historically good teams such as Inglemoor, Eastlake, Issaquah, Newport and Redmond. But with two six-team divisions, several of these teams won’t meet in the regular season, unless they play in the conference championship. So count out a rematch of that great Bothell-Eastlake game a year ago, and we won’t see last year’s 3A champ, Skyline, play last year’s 4A runner-up, Bothell. Same goes for Eastlake-Woodinville, which had turned into an important game itself.

In the new seven-team 2A/3A division, Bellevue will surely be the favorite. It beat the remaining five KingCo 2A/3A teams last year by an average of 38.4 points. With an extra free week, though, it’s going to test itself. We won’t have a Bellevue-Skyline rematch of the 6-0 Skyline win in last year’s opener, but Bellevue will play a nonleague game against a quality team from California and there’s a rumored game against Bothell as well. That game would show off what surely would be two of the area’s better defenses.

The realignment has created an uber-conference in 4A, one that will never present enough state bids (three KingCo 4A teams advanced to the round of eight last year, and that’s before 3A playoff teams Skyline, Issaquah and Newport moved up, too). In 3A, it’s a Bellevue world that the other teams will live in until someone does something about it.

-Speaking of those rankings, Snohomish baseball finished 32nd in Rivals.com’s top 50.

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