The SVSJ looks into the crystal ball for what’s on deck in 2016…….

Good Wednesday morning. Over the past two days, we’ve gone over some of the biggest sports stories of 2015 to grace this blog. Today, we take a look at a few things that will be worth watching in 2016.

1. High school sports realignment: It’s that time again where high school administrators, coaches and fans take a look at the high school sports landscape and how that will be shaped in future years. The reclassification and realignment process in Washington has been a staple every two years, but after this go-round, it moves to a four-year cycle, and that might prompt a few more schools to perhaps look to change their league alignments.

Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools are not expected to go anywhere for this upcoming cycle, but their league alignments could noticeably change. As we’ve told you, there is back channel conversation that has taken place regarding a full merge of all Kingco Conference schools regardless of classification, and for schools to play according to geographical alignment as opposed to classification in most sports. We have been told that part of the reason for this pertains to changes being looked at in Kingco Conference school districts, most notably Bellevue and Issaquah, to high school daily start and end times. If this all occurs, it is possible Mount Si will resume playing many of their former 3A rivals even though the school is likely to remain a 4A school.

And the Cascade Conference could see changes, too. At the most recent Northwest District board meeting, for which we’ve viewed their minutes, the Wesco Conference’s representative reported that Archbishop Murphy, a current member of the Cascade, sought membership into the Wesco, but was rejected. So with that said, it’s possible ATM is mulling over possibly leaving the Cascade Conference, which could mean significant changes in that league were that to occur. How that would impact CHS remains to be seen.

And then there’s this little item. In 2017, the Northshore School District plans on opening a new high school, North Creek High School. This school is likely going to be a member of Kingco, and if that happens, that means the conference would then have 17 members, with a 9-8 division split were the conference to go this route. This might open up a possible spot for expansion a couple of years down the road if Kingco wants an even split in both divisions. Considering the conference has themselves resisted welcoming in private schools such as Eastside Catholic, who has applied for Kingco membership in the past and been denied, this might open up a possibility of a return of Cedarcrest in the future to the conference. That’s something to keep an eye on for far down the road, but it’s one to think about, especially if ATM does leave the Cascade leaving the conference with only three 2A schools, likely hurting their postseason opportunities.

2. MLB draft: As we noted yesterday, 2015 was a watershed year for Valley baseball, with three local products drafted by professional baseball clubs in the amateur draft. 2016 has a good-sized class of athletes as well from our community that could hear their names called.

Three college seniors lead that list: Gonzaga infielder Dustin Breshears, Illinois-Chicago starting pitcher Trevor Lane and Central Washingtin infielder Ryan Atkinson. All three players are Mount Si HS grads and are from North Bend. Then there’s Alden Huschle. Huschle, a senior this season for the Wildcats, pitched last summer at a prestigious tournament known as the Area Code Games in California, and this tournament has produced over the years a large number of draft-quality high school prospects. While Huschle has signed with Seattle University, there is a chance he could also hear his name called.

The early June proceedings should be interesting to watch.

3. MLS draft: In just a couple of weeks, Major League Soccer, the United States’ professional soccer league, will be holding its draft, and as we have also been telling you, Fall City’s Ryan Herman has a shot of hearing his name called. The 2011 Mount Si High School grad, who just wrapped up his career as a goalkeeper with the University of Washington after starting his college run with Santa Clara University in California, has been invited to the league’s draft combine, and according to the UW, past invitees from their program have been drafted, so there is a considerably good chance of him getting drafted. Herman played youth soccer within the Seattle Sounders’ academy program, so the Sounders could be in best position to take him, although he could go to any MLS team. If Herman gets his name called, he’d be the first-ever former Wildcat taken in this draft and only the third – joining Gibson Bardsley and Nikki Stanton – to hit the pro circuit after playing high school soccer for Mount Si under coach Darren Brown.
The SuperDraft is around the corner, and it will be a fun one to keep an eye on.
These three items are just a small sampling of things to watch as 2016 rolls around. There’s plenty more where that came from, so keep it here and we’ll take you on the journey that is local sports as we start 2016.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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