The reshuffling of schools is complete, and Peninsula and Gig Harbor high schools will be in the same league together next season, in Class 3A.
The league, which doesn’t yet have a name, will also include Central Kitsap, Shelton, North Thurston, Timberline, Yelm and Capital, according to Todd Milles of The News Tribune.
Gig Harbor was recently accepted into the Class 3A South Puget Sound League, which was slated to include Gig Harbor, Peninsula, Lakes, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw, North Thurston, Timberline and Yelm. But several schools around Pierce County appealed the decisions regarding league placement and further re-shuffling occurred.
Gig Harbor athletic director Bob Werner told The Gateway in January that the most important thing would be being able to compete against schools that can field full programs, from the C-team through varsity.
Gig Harbor had the opportunity to opt up to Class 4A, but chose not to, citing dipping enrollment projections.
“It’s a big drop starting next year,” Werner told The Gateway in January. “The question is, ‘What’s the viability?’ Looking at schools with eight-year cycles that opt up, the success level has been mediocre. Over time, those numbers just catch up. The only schools that works for are private schools.”
The ultimate goal for Gig Harbor High School was to join the same league as crosstown rival Peninsula High School, which has now been accomplished.
“I know it scares some people, dealing with crowd control,” Werner said in January. “The kids are great; I think it’s the parents that can get out of hand. But I look at it: We would be the only two-high-school-district in Washington that would have two schools in same classification playing in different leagues. There’s not one other example. I think it’ll be a special thing.”