A new Kingco 2A league? Perhaps, and there’s a chance Cedarcrest could be a part of it….some analysis of the possibilities….

Reclassification of high schools in the state of Washington for school sports continues to be a hot topic for discussion, as we are now days away from official announcements about possible league shifts resulting from these moves. And it appears one possible shift could be significant enough that one Valley high school might get caught up in it.

Kingco Conference athletic directors at their meeting prior to the holiday break December 16 discussed another request for league membership. This one, though, could result in a new 2A league for Kingco, and that could potentially impact Cedarcrest High School.

The AD’s, according to the minutes, reviewed the proposal, which was a multi-school request filed by the Renton, Highline and Tukwila school districts covering several high schools – Renton, Hazen and Lindbergh High Schools in the Renton district, Foster High School in the Tukwila district, and Tyee, Evergreen and Highline High Schools in the Highline district. All of the high schools listed here with the exception of Hazen are currently 2A schools and are expected to remain so in the next four-year classification cycle when that is announced. As for Hazen, they are a 4A currently but whether they stay up or not is unknown. We have been told by WIAA football seeding committee member – and friend of this beat – Ryland Spencer they’re seeking 3A membership. If they remain a 4A, they’d join Kingco 4A and would resume an old Seamount League rivalry with Mount Si, one which ended in the late 1990’s following Mount Si’s exit from the Seamount to join Kingco.

But what is most notable here is the large number of possible 2A schools here and what that could mean for schools such as Cedarcrest. As we have discussed, it doesn’t appear likely that Cedarcrest will leave Wesco. That said, if Kingco were to admit these schools and form a 2A league as a result, it can be expected the conference will look to find additional schools to help fill out schedules, meaning that you should look for CHS officials and the Riverview School District to be contacted by the league about this should it materialize. A new Kingco 2A league could provide CHS with some benefits should the school decide to pursue this possibility if it’s presented to them.

First, the issue with football and the “league” football schedule which the school indicated was a factor in them going to Wesco two years ago instead of to Kingco. CHS administrators at that time were concerned, and rightly so, about the notion of playing league football games against teams such as Bellevue, for example, who had larger and more skilled rosters. The Northwest 2A Sky Division setup these past two years have allowed the Red Wolve program to get itself re-established a little bit against similar-sized competition.

However, if Kingco were to admit all of these schools in and create a 2A league as a result, a league 2A schedule would see the 2A’s play one another with no games against 3A teams such as Bellevue, eliminating that concern. Further, with the success CHS had against Renton and Lindbergh in particular this past fall, there’s a good chance that if the Red Wolves ended up in this league, football would be in a much better competitive position and have a more stable schedule – if you remember, they only had three league games in it this past fall.

Secondly, travel would again be a bit of a wash, as was the case two years ago between Kingco and Wesco, between the current Wesco setup and this one. All of these schools are on the 405 corridor at the south end of Lake Washington all the way over to Sea-Tac Airport and were all at one time members of the Seamount League. All of the schools (except for Hazen, who has been part of the North Puget Sound League) have been members the past couple of years of the South Puget Sound League, but with the 2A division of that league far-flung with teams all the way down to Eatonville, there is probably a desire from those schools to cut travel and perhaps re-start some of the old Seamount rivalries again under the Kingco banner.

Third, CHS competitively should hold up very well if it were to pursue this option and look at Kingco. Cedarcrest as you know has held its own against the tougher Wesco competition, so they should be able to transition well into the new league if it’s there for them.

Another factor to watch in all of this – Wesco itself. The Everett Herald reported last week that Cedarcrest’s Wesco 4A counterpart, neighbor Monroe High School, has opted to drop down to 3A for next year. With the current Wesco setup being 15 teams, if enough 4A’s drop down to 3A, which appears possible, there may end up not being any room available to keep 2A’s in the current Wesco 2A/3A league, meaning Cedarcrest and the other current 2A members, Mountlake Terrace and Archbishop Murphy, unless they opted up, might need to look for a new league, in both CHS and Murphy’s case again after having done so two years ago in a very protracted process which only resolved itself thanks to intervention from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, the state high school sports governing body and who is responsible for establishing all of the classifications.

Kingco has conducted site visits of the schools applying for membership and was scheduled to discuss this again today, but the school closures and what not likely will push that back to tomorrow. League principals will get their chance to discuss this later this week with votes to come as soon as next week. If the vote goes through and the league decides to create a 2A division, look for Cedarcrest officials and the Riverview district to be contacted soon thereafter.

Also, it should be noted as well that some current Kingco schools are appealing their expected classifications, with five – 4A Newport, Redmond and Inglemoor and 3A/2A Sammamish and Interlake – seeking waivers to drop a classification for football only. This could also play a factor into this as well. Schools are allowed to do this for football without it impacting other sports as per new WIAA rules.

A lot of moving parts here, and the next couple of weeks will be interesting. If you are a CHS sports fan or parent of an athlete there, it might not hurt to pay attention and keep an eye on these things as they develop.

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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