The Metro League will be welcoming back old members for the 2014-15 school year.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released its reclassification enrollment numbers Wednesday morning, a list that includes Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt at the Class 3A level.
The WIAA Executive Board will make a final approval of the numbers on Jan. 27.
Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt will leave KingCo 4A for the 3A Metro League. All current league schools will remain and the three new additions will give the Metro 16 members in boys and girls athletics. The league has not yet decided how it will realign itself, Seattle Public Schools director of athletics Eric McCurdy said.
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The new two-year classification cycle is affecting other leagues in the area and statewide as well, which will impact some state allocations.
Decisions on how the Metro League will split into divisions will be discussed in the coming weeks as input will be gathered from principals of the concerned schools.
“The way the league is set up currently … is that a Seattle school kind of will always get a chance to go to the championship,” McCurdy said. “That’s the way it’s set up because it’s actually a Seattle league. We’ve made it to the Metro League, but it’s always been a Seattle league. So even though it’s a Metro League, we want to ensure our Seattle schools have just the same opportunity as everyone else to go to districts.”
He stressed that the private schools are still a vital part of the league.
McCurdy said a benefit to the new additions to the Metro League are travel times, which can be extremely long for the city schools to get to the Eastside. With more opponents in the Seattle School District, Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt will not have to miss as much class to travel to games.
Another benefit of the reclassification is the return of natural rivalries. One of those that will be rekindled is between Garfield and Franklin.
Since Franklin rejoined the Metro League in 2008, the boys basketball teams have played just twice.
Gill James, Newport athletic director and president of the KingCo Conference, said there is no ill will toward the schools returning to Metro.
“For them, being able to stay in the Metro League and their side of the pond, that’s a good thing, and I think they’d say it was in their best interest,” he said.
• KingCo 4A will drop from 11 to nine members, with Mount Si moving up, and likely have one division. That leaves KingCo 3A/2A with seven schools — although the conference has extended its deadline for new applications to Jan. 15. Liberty drops to 2A, joining Sammamish. Lake Washington moves back to 3A.
• In the SPSL, all three Auburn schools are going 3A, creating an eight-team league that also will include Sumner, currently a 2A school. Decatur still has 3A numbers but is opting up to 4A to be with the three other Federal Way high schools.
They will be part of a 10-team SPSL 4A North Division that includes the four Kent schools, Tahoma and Mount Rainier.
The SPSL 4A South will have seven members. SPSL 2A is considering an application from River Ridge, which would fill Sumner’s void.