The Tacoma News-Tribune’s Doug Pacey wrote this story about the changing face of the Narrows League. Four teams are moving in, increasing the numbers to 15. But the story points to a larger issue, state re-classification as a whole.
This is a classification year with numbers being based upon specific enrollment counting periods from last year through the early part of this. Based upon numbers, who opts up and when, and who decides not to opt up any more, Eastern Washington could be impacted.
Since we won’t know until December I’ve been loathe to comment, but speculation is that the Columbia Basin Big Nine experiment is about to end with the Kennewick schools returning to 3A and resulting in an 8-7 divisional split in the league. But there’s also the possiblity that next year in the Greater Spokane League only Central Valley and Lewis and Clark will fall into the 4A category.
Therein lies the rub. If so, where would the two schools go? With only 10 4A schools this side of the mountains, it certainly would affect the number of state qualifying teams. But it would also mean there would be 16 3A schools which most certainly would give this region four state berths annually, evenly split between the CBBN and GSL.
There’s also the possibility that the GSL could increase the number of 4A schools. Enrollments reportedly are up at Shadle and Rogers. Plus, it might behoove the league to become 4A heavy creating a look much like the good old days when the Big Nine and GSL had equal numbers of schools and four state berths.
Obviously, much will depend upon the statewide distribution of school enrollment and where the 17 percent splits fall. The last cycle, 1,280 was the 4A-3A cut. In the TNT story, Yelm, the fifth largest 3A school, reported increased numbers. So things could shift up or down by the December count (when dropouts factor in).
What are your thoughts?