Now that the reclassification numbers are close to being finalized, I’m curious about how the SPSL 4A, SPSL 3A and Seamount League are going to look this fall.
I’m not alone.
I spoke with several administrators today, and a lot is still up in the air, especially with the SPSL 3A and Seamount.
“There’s a lot to do,” said Shelly Thiel, director of the West Central District III that houses the SPSL and Seamount.
And not a lot of time to do it in, at least not to those who are anxious to start putting together football schedules.
Some information should come to light tomorrow when the WCD ADs meet, and I hope to post an update in the afternoon.
Things are fairly clear in SPSL 4A. Decatur will drop to 3A, but Mount Rainier (currently in the Seamount League) has applied for membership into the 4A conference after outgrowing 3A. SPSL ADs gather today (before the WCD meeting) to hear the official proposal from Mount Rainier and make a recommendation to the SPSL principals.
The only matter up in the air is whether Mt. Rainier will be placed in the North Division or South Division. North makes the most sense, geographically, but that could mean moving probably Jefferson or Federal Way from the North to the South to even out the divisions with 9 schools each.
But Thiel mentioned today it is possible the league could decide to have 8 schools in one division and 10 in the other, so we’ll see.
The biggest mystery seems to be what will happen with SPSL 3A. Tim Thomsen, Sumner School District AD, verified that Sumner will drop from 3A to 2A this fall (while Bonney Lake, also a Sumner District school) is opting up to remain 3A. Thomsen said the district gave both schools the option to compete at 2A or 3A, and this is the preference for at least this two-year reclassification cycle.
Clover Park and Franklin Pierce are also dropping from 3A to 2A, which would leave SPSL 3A with 7 schools (including Decatur).
Thomsen said there are three likely scenarious involving those schools — they join the 2A/1A Nisqually League, become part of what would be a SPSL 3A/2A configuration or split off to be part of a new independent 2A league.
“All three of those are viable options at this point,” Thomsen said. “We hope we can find a home for everybody that everybody can tolerate.”
Some ADs are open to multi-classification leagues and others are not.
Kennedy Catholic is exploring its options now that it looks like 5 of the remaining 8 teams in Seamount (remember, Mount Rainier is leaving) will be dropping to 2A. Seamount ADs also meet today and as of now none of those with 2A numbers (Evergreen, Foster, Lindbergh, Renton and Tyee) have indicated they plan to opt up (there is one last opportunity with the WIAA to make that effort this month, but there are hoops to jump through).
That leaves Kennedy (opt-up), Hazen and Highline as the only 3A teams in what would be a 3A/2A Seamount League, and that has implications when it comes to playoff allocations.
Bob Bourgette, Kennedy AD and head football coach, said he hopes the school can remain in the Seamount, but admits he would prefer to be in league that is exclusively 3A.
“We have to do what’s best for our school,” he said.
He has had “informal discussions” with both the SPSL and Metro League.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, Kennedy was a member of the now-defunct North Puget Sound League that included 3 of the Kent schools (Kentlake wasn’t open yet) and Auburn, as well as the Renton schools. So there are some ties.
I’ve heard some say Hazen would make a good fit into KingCo 3A/2A, but was not able verify if there is any real interest on either part. More than likely, the Renton District schools (Hazen, Lindbergh, Renton) would prefer to stay together as well as 3 of the Highline District schools (Evergreen, Highline, Tyee) in a 3A/2A Seamount League.
I’ll keep you posted as I hear of any decisions. Thomsen said the SPSL ADs would like to have recommendations to present when the SPSL principals meet on Feb. 1.
It’s going to be an interesting few weeks between now and then.