A Class 3A Narrows League could still exist when the realignment dust settles.
Four Tacoma schools — Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Stadium and Wilson — as well as Shelton and Central Kitsap were all denied admission to the Class 3A South Puget Sound League last week.
Capital never formally applied, though it still could. Foss dropped down to 2A and was accepted to the 2A SPSL, while North Thurston will join the 3A SPSL.
That leaves seven schools in the region without a home for the 2016-2017 school year.
“Our plan, if possible, is to stay a member of 3A Narrows, provided we’ve got a viable league,” Shelton athletic director Jim Judson said. “Question marks go out there with other 3A schools and where they decide to go.”
Scott Nordi, the 2A/3A SPSL president, said one reason the six schools were rejected was to preserve some incarnation of the 3A Narrows.
“The SPSL’s position has been that we want to maintain two 3A leagues in (West Central) District 3,” Nordi said. “If we reconsidered them, it would mean the demise of the Narrows League.”
The 3A Narrows would have six schools in it if no more movement occurs Wednesday.
“I think that’s definitely still in the cards. Nothing has been ruled out,” Tacoma School District athletic director Sam Reed said. “There’s still definitely a scenario that a 3A Narrows would have seven teams.”
As of Tuesday, those seven teams would include Capital, Central Kitsap, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Shelton, Stadium and Wilson.
Though, Reed said the Tacoma schools have submitted an appeal request to the WCD to join the 3A SPSL, which is still waiting to be heard.
“To me, that is not time dependent on (Wednesday’s) deadline,” Reed said. “Those four schools are going to be 3A regardless. I know that one way or the other, we’ll have a league.”
Capital has also been in contact with the 3A Greater Saint Helen’s League as a possible option, though it has not formally applied, Olympia School District athletic director Jeff Carpenter said.
“Everybody is waiting to see where the final classifications land, and then, from there, looking at leagues,” Carpenter said. “There’s just so much movement right now.”
As of Tuesday, the 3A SPSL is slated to include Bonney Lake, Gig Harbor, Lakes, North Thurston, Peninsula, Timberline and Yelm.
North Thurston (currently a 3A Narrows member), and Timberline and Yelm (4A Narrows) were accepted to the league last week.
“We know we have a league, and know we get to move forward,” Yelm athletic director Ron Barnard said.
But not everyone gets to move forward yet.
Wednesday’s looming opt-up deadline likely won’t affect Yelm or Timberline but could push Olympia — also a current 4A Narrows member — down to 3A.
The opt-up deadline will determine the new four-year WIAA classification cycle starting with the 2016-17 school year — which will be extended for the first time from a two-year cycle.
Olympia was accepted to the 4A SPSL on Monday — along with Bellarmine Prep and South Kitsap — after it was granted an appeal by the WCD.
But Olympia could see more movement if a handful of 3A schools opt up to 4A before the deadline. Olympia was listed as the fourth-smallest school in 4A on Tuesday.
Olympia, Bellarmine and South Kitsap were the final three schools to break away from the 4A Narrows, which will almost certainly dissolve with Gig Harbor, Stadium, Timberline and Yelm all slated to reclassify as 3A.
“It literally collapsed,” Barnard said.
Elma and Tenino will both remain in the Class 1A Evergreen Conference but will compete in a condensed league that also includes Forks, Hoquaim and Montesano.
Rochester and Aberdeen will exit the split 2A/1A Evergreen Conference to join Black Hills, Centralia, Tumwater and W.F. West in the 2A Evergreen Conference. Eatonville will move to the 2A SPSL.