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January 14, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Realignment news from the SPSL

There are some interesting realignment possibilities in the South Puget Sound League for the 2010-12 reclassification cycle.

This afternoon, I spoke with Rick Wells, Puyallup School District athletic director and president of the SPSL ADs, who met this morning.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

* The ADs voted unanimously to make a recommendation to the SPSL principals (who meet Feb. 1) to accept Mount Rainier into the league as a 4A school.

* The ADs are giving the principals three options regarding the alignment of the North and South Divisions. Each option — which would keep 9 schools in each division (remember, Decatur — currently in the SPSL 4A South (sorry I originally said the North, and I do know better! — is dropping to 3A) — is favored by some and opposed by others, so it will be interesting to see what the principals decide. Travel is among the primary concerns. The options:

A — Mount Rainier is placed in the North Division along with the Kent and Federal Way

schools (meaing Beamer moves to the North); Auburn and Auburn Riveriside

move to the South Division.

B — Mount Rainier is placed in the South Division (replacing Decatur); Wells said

this was the least popular option among the ADs, because of the travel involved

(and not just by Mount Rainier, but by the other South Division teams traveling to

Des Moines).

C — Mount Rainier is placed in the North Division and either Federal Way or Jefferson

is moved from the North to the South.

* The ADs voted to add a “2A element” to the league, but Wells said it is unclear whether there would be a 3A/2A combo league or separate 3A and 2A divisions. Three current SPSL 3A teams — Clover Park, Franklin Pierce and Sumner — are dropping to 2A next fall (and there’s a possibility White River will as well — more on that later.

If there is a separate 2A division, the league would look to add other members — such as the current 2A Nisqually schools (Eatonville, Fife, Steilacoom and Foster).

* White River announced it is appealing its enrollment count that made the school the last on the 3A list (by one student). The White River District operates an alternative school that includes students from other school districts that apparently are being counted (they would not be eligible for athletic competition at White River).

* Kennedy, currently in the Seamount League, officially applied for membership in to SPSL 3A and has been asked to make an oral presentation to SPSL administrators on Jan. 21. The SPSL ADs will then make a recommendation to the SPSL principals, probably at that Feb. 1 meeting.

Wells noted there is a sense of urgency on all matters because ADs are already behind on creating fall schedules. He said the league has imposed a Jan. 20 deadline for schools who wish to apply for membership (so those Nisqually schools have to decide quickly what they want to do).

It is still unclear whether Highline plans to official apply, Wells said. If Kennedy leaves the Seamount, Highline and Hazen would be the only 3A schools left in the league, unless others change their mind by tomorrow, which is the deadline to state that intention to the WIAA.

I’m hearing the Seamount schools with 2A numbers (Evergreen, Foster, Lindbergh, Renton and Tyee) will not change their minds about opting up, but we’ll see. The Highline school board may not be open to allowing Highline to leave for the SPSL, although Wells said he has heard an application is ready for submission.

And of course Kennedy could still opt to stay in the Seamount, at this point. Bob Bourgette, the schools’ AD and head football coach, has said all along the school want so pursue options to see what is best for students.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear additional information.

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