No major changes for Kitsap teams as WIAA approves 2020-2024 classifications

RENTON — The WIAA has finalized the classifications for the next four-year cycle, but there were no changes for any Kitsap high schools.

Bremerton, North Kitsap, Olympic and Kingston will all remain 2A schools, while Central Kitsap (3A), Klahowya (1A) and South Kitsap (4A) stay in their respective classifications. Bainbridge, a 2A school which previously opted up to 3A, is now a 3A-sized school.

Klahowya’s enrollment of 449 kept it in 1A by just one student. On the flip side, Kingston, at 473 students, is the smallest 2A school by average enrollment with the exception of Archbishop Murphy, a 1A opt-up.

Average enrollment was calculated by the number of students in grades nine through 11 reported to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the months of January, February, March, April, May, October and November (counted double, for a total of eight enrollment counts) of 2019.

The WIAA made two major changes in early 2019 to the way they classify schools.

The first was the use of hard caps on enrollments numbers for each classification. Any schools with 1,300 or more students in grades nine through 11 were placed in Class 4A, 900-1,299 went in 3A, 450-899 went to 2A, 225-449 in 1A, 105-224 in 2B and 1-104 in 1B.

In the past, the WIAA strove to create classifications with the same number of teams; but the new hard caps necessitated a change in the number of berths to state tournament.

The 1A, 2A and 4A state tournaments will all remain at 16 teams, but because 3A has 79 school in this cycle, 3A state tournaments will consist of 20 teams.

For the first time, the WIAA also factored in free-and-reduced lunch counts in order to create more of a balance between wealthier and poorer schools. Any school with a free-and-reduced lunch rate higher than the statewide average (47 percent) saw its enrollment reduced for each percentage point exceeded.

Only Bremerton, at 61 percent free-and-reduced lunch, qualified for this reduction among Kitsap’s eight high schools.

With the numbers released, it appears the Olympic League 2A should retain the same seven teams while the 1A league now has just two teams left with Chimacum’s drop down to 2B. Klahowya is expected to join the Nisqually League full-time (the Eagles already compete in the Nisqually for football).

The South Sound Conference, of which Central Kitsap is a member, lost Shelton to 2A, but should gain River Ridge of Lacey, which moved up to 3A.

South Kitsap’s league, the South Puget Sound League, will retain its nine teams with Sumner opting up to stay in 4A and will add a tenth team in Bethel, which moved up to 4A. The Spanaway school is in the right geographic position to join the SPSL.

More in Sports

Courtesy photo
Megan Hyte, a former Poulsbo resident and North Kitsap soccer star, is giving back to her old club, Kitsap Alliance, through her 110 brand and fundraising platform.
Former NK soccer star gives back to her old club team

In order to find the right path in life, Megan Hyte first… Continue reading

.
WIAA has new return-to-play guidelines based on county benchmarks

New return-to-play guidelines tied to Kitsap County benchmarks rather than the governor’s… Continue reading

No asterisks needed as championships still deserved

COVID-19 has changed many things in the sports world. Major League Baseball… Continue reading

Extracurricular activities will likely be on hold as long as most school districts remain in remote learning. Review file photo
WIAA releases next steps for return to play

There has been a groundswell of support for fall athletes returning to… Continue reading

Virgil Taylor celebrates with his son, David, who served as the bat boy for North Kitsap’s 1988 state championship team. (Contributed photo by the Taylor Family)
N. Kitsap coaching legend dies at age 80

He’s been a fixture at prep baseball, football games

Contributed photo
                                Virgil and his wife, DiAnn, who were together for 63 years and married for nearly 58.
N. Kitsap coaching legend dies at age 80

He was a longtime fixture at high school baseball, football games

Bainbridge running back Alex Ledbetter tries to break away from the pile during the Spartans’ 2018 opener against North Kitsap. (File photo)
A look back at some great Week 1 local prep gridiron games

Under normal circumstances, tonight fans would have gathered at high school stadiums… Continue reading

“Strong Like Her” features American powerlifter Megan Gallagher on the cover.
Kitsap native Haley Shapley features strong women in “Strong Like Her”

Says it’s OK to have muscles if you’re female

Cross country was one of the few remaining sports that had a chance to compete this fall until the decision was made to move all fall sports to spring. (Review File Photo)
PREPS: Fall seasons officially pushed to spring 2021

Cross country, boys tennis join girls swim and dive in season 3

Island resident Greg Nance pulls up to the end of Point Monroe Drive near Fay Bainbridge Park during his endurance run around Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
With community encouragement, Greg Nance completes his run around Bainbridge Island

For the rare few among us who enjoy putting ourselves through the… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Pete Saloutos
                                Greg Nance, a 2007 Bainbridge High School graduate, will run the island’s entire shoreline on Aug. 18 to raise awareness for mental health issues.
BHS grad Greg Nance to run island shoreline for mental health and addiction support

On the surface, just about anyone would be envious of Greg Nance.… Continue reading

Krulish: Release the Kraken

What’s in a name? When it comes to professional sports teams, not… Continue reading