Gateway: Sports

With Gig Harbor likely headed to 3A, Fish Bowl could regain meaning

Peninsula High School fans show their spirit before the Fish Bowl.
Peninsula High School fans show their spirit before the Fish Bowl. Staff file

The Fish Bowl rivalary game could finally mean something again.

After news broke last week that Gig Harbor High School is likely headed down to Class 3A, it’s possible that Gig Harbor and Peninsula could join the same league, the Class 3A South Puget Sound League.

I posted a simple poll on Twitter after the news broke, asking: “Would you like to see Gig Harbor join the SPSL 3A and make the Fish Bowl a league game again?”

The results surprised me. With 203 total votes, 55 percent of voters said “No.” To me, that simply doesn’t make any sense.

The Fish Bowl, which is by far the best sporting event in Gig Harbor, hasn’t been a league game since 2000. Peninsula dropped down to 3A after that season. Thousands of people turn out every year for the Fish Bowl. It’s a unique and special event.

But for more than a decade, it’s been meaningless. Now, all of that could change.

Imagine thousands of fans decked out in Columbia blue or green and gold, anxiously watching to see if their team can knock off their crosstown rival for the SPSL 3A title. Obviously, it’s no guarantee that the Fish Bowl would be the league title game, but given the current success of both programs, it’s likely the game would have league title implications more often than not.

Some of this newspaper’s readers won’t have to imagine what that would be like. For a lot of Gig Harbor residents, they lived it. Some of them played in the Fish Bowl when it was the last game of the season and it meant something. Some were fans, cheerleaders or parents. From a fan perspective, restoring the meaning to Gig Harbor’s best sporting event seems like a no-brainer.

It would also make league scheduling easier. Right now, both Peninsula and Gig Harbor have to find space on their schedules to play each other in different sports. If Gig Harbor were to join the SPSL 3A, the schools would be automatically scheduled in league competitions across all sports.

Nothing is set in stone yet. Gig Harbor could still opt up to 4A, or could find itself in a different 3A league. But with Sumner likely headed for 4A, the SPSL 3A is the most intriguing option, and seems to make the most sense.

Making Gig Harbor versus Peninsula a league contest — in all sports — would be good for players, coaches and fans. It would add some luster to what have essentially become exhibition games.

Let’s hope it happens.