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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Today’s classification breakdown day

Today is the day for undecided schools to announce their decision whether to opt up or stay put allow the WIAA to breakdown enrollment classifications. The Greater Spokane League appears set with 10 teams next year - if East Valley school board votes to drop to 2A this morning. Five or six (Mead, Gonzaga Prep, Ferris, Central Valley and Lewis and Clark for sure, Rogers probably the other) will be 4A; four or five (Shadle Park, Mt. Spokane, North Central and University) in 3A. It looks like the Columbia Basin Big Nine is going seven and seven with WV-Yakima dropping to 2A. Chiawana, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Richland, Moses Lake, Davis and Eisenhower are 4A. Eastmont, Pasco, Kamiakin, Southridge, Kennewick, Hanford and Sunnyside are 3A. Hard to believe that schools approaching 1,100 students will be considered 2A in classification size. It will be interesting to see how WIAA officials ultimately break things out.

Here's my story in today's paper:

Today Tuesday is the final day for high schools throughout the state to make public their decision whether to remain in the assigned athletic classification or opt up for 2010-11 and ‘11-12. In January, final designations will be made.

Both the Greater Spokane League’s Mead and Gonzaga Prep will remain 4A. After weighing their options, Mead activities coordinator Dick Cullen said, and working with a committee of parents, coaches and administrators, opting up seemed to be for the best.

“Friday, on the telephone, we opted up at the same time,” Cullen said of the Mead-Gonzaga Prep decisions.

With their decision, the GSL will likely have six 4A (joining Lewis and Clark, Ferris, Central Valley and either Rogers or University) and four 3A schools, with East Valley dropping to 2A and entering the Great Northern League. The EV school board meets at 9 a.m. today to render the decision.

“It’s tough,” said Knights activities coordinator Joe Kostecka. “Obviously, the GSL has a lot of plusses.”

But an enrollment decline of 150 students or more over the next two years weighs heavily in the decision. “The coaches wanted to stay and play where the numbers are,” he said.

That is the driving reason University will likely be 3A next year and not opt up, AC Ken VanSickle said.

“We’re either the 12th largest 3A school or second smallest 4A school,” he said. “Where will our kids have the best opportunity?”

Whatever University, Pasco or Decatur decide will determine whether Rogers remains 4A or is bumped down to 3A, said Pirates AC Eric Anderson.

“As of last week we’re the smallest 4A school,” he said. “Our hopes are for either (of those schools) to opt up, but it’s not likely. We’ll see how it goes. Where we fall we fall.”

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