It’s called the South Sound Conference.
That’s the name of the eight-team league formed last week with
The SSC will also contain Capital, Gig Harbor, Peninsula, North
Thurston, Shelton, Timberline and Yelm.
The league could have gone with one of the two leagues — Narrows or
South Puget Sound – that was dismantled during this
“I think everybody wanted to start anew,” CK AD Bill Baxter said.
This league will go into effect in September.
After months of jockeying and wondering, Central Kitsap has a
new league it will play in for the next four years.
Now it just needs a name.
Tuesday, the Class 3A teams in the West Central District decided on
two eight-man leagues.
Central Kitsap’s league will be made up of CK, Capital, Gig Harbor,
Peninsula, North Thurston, Shelton, Timberline and Yelm.
This league will decide its name next week at meeting of athletic
directors. Calling it the Narrows League is a possibility.
The other league is calling itself the Pierce County League. The
PCL went defunct around 2001. North Mason and Bainbridge have
played in the league. That league will have: Bethel, Bonney Lake,
Lakes, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Spanaway Lake, Stadium and
“We’re happy with where we landed,” Central Kitsap coach Bill
Baxter said. “It was the one that we wanted to be in for sure.”
The downside for CK is that there’s more travel as several of the
schools are in the Olympia area. But, Baxter felt that the league
makeup fits it better competitively.
This league will begin in September.
The West Central District Appeals Committee heard from Central
Kitsap, Shelton and four Tacoma schools on Wednesday. The six
schools, the only schools left in the Narrows League, were
appealing the South Puget Sound League’s decision to deny them
entry into the Class 3A league.
The committee released a statement Wednesday
night. The decision? Fix it yourself.
The committee ordered the Narrows and SPSL schools to “find an
equitable solution of league(s) alignment.”
Schools have until Feb. 3 to find a solution.
The SPSL denied CK a spot in its league earlier this month. CK has
applied as just six teams were left in the Narrows 3A.
The enrollment numbers are (kinda) set, but Central Kitsap could
be a few weeks away from finding out which league it’s in.
The deadline for deciding if a team will opt-up was Wednesday. The
WIAA released the numbers Thursday. Teams can appeal their spot
until the numbers are finalized at the WIAA’s executive board
meeting Jan. 24-25.
Following those numbers being finalized is when CK should get
things worked out.
CK is still appealing to the West Central District to let them in
the South Puget Sound League 3A.
They could play in a six-team Narrows League 3A along with Mount
Tahoma, Wilson, Lincoln, Stadium and Shelton. Capital would give
them a seventh team, but it applied to be part of the Greater St.
Athletic director Ed Santos said Wednesday South Kitsap has
joined the South Puget Sound League.
SK applied to the SPSL last week and was originally denied. The
West Central District overturned the denial Monday.
SK quickly decided to join.
“We really didn’t have any other option,” Santos said.
The Narrows League 4A was left with just three 4A schools — SK,
Bellarmine Prep and Olympia — as many members dropped down to 3A.
All three schools will join the SPSL along with Curtis, Puyallup,
Emerald Ridge, Rogers, Graham-Kapowsin and Sumner.
The SPSL is currently a 17-team, three-division league, but many of
those schools are leaving to join the North Puget Sound League, which is
re-incarnating after going dark in 1990.
These new leagues go into effect in September and will be in place
for the next four years.
South has been in the Narrows League since it formed in 1979 (Port
Angeles and Bremerton were also original members). The Narrows
League could still exist as a 3A league as Central
Kitsap, four Tacoma schools (Stadium, Wilson, Lincoln and Mount
Tahoma), Shelton and possibly Capital could keep it going. Those
schools are still weighing their options. All but Capital were
turned down by the SPSL 3A.
CK athletic director Bill Baxter said Tuesday he planned to appeal
the denial to keep the SPSL option open.
Many of the dominoes will fall into place now that the deadline to
decide if a school will opt up was Wednesday at 4 p.m. Once schools
are set in a classification, leagues can start to form.
Central Kitsap senior Kendal Yaegle will be taking his football
talents to Central Washington University.
Yaegle revealed on Twitter that he’ll play for the Wildcats in
Yaegle earned Narrows League 3A defensive player of the year
honors in the fall. The defensive back led the Cougars with 97
tackles (11.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles and
helped CK reach the postseason.
South Kitsap is a charter member of the Narrows League and has
been a member since 1979.
Next year it seems likely they’ll end up in the South Puget Sound
League 4A. They were denied entry last week, but the West Central
District denied that denial Monday, according to this report from our friends at the Tacoma News
Tribune. The pieces of that league are still falling into
Central Kitsap was also denied by the SPSL last week as they were
seeking entry into the 3A league. Their appeal hasn’t been heard
South Kitsap and Central Kitsap applied this week to join the
South Puget Sound League.
Both applications were denied Friday.
South Kitsap athletic director Ed Santos said he plans to appeal to
the West Central District.
No word yet on what Central Kitsap’s plans are.
The SPSL also rejected four Tacoma school and Olympia, which you
can read about here.
South Kitsap athletic director Ed Santos said Wednesday was a
“moving and shaking kind of day” in terms of reclassification.
Ten schools opted up to the 4A classification. That was likely bad
news for the future of the Narrows League 4A. Only four 4A schools
remain for the league: South Kitsap, Bellarmine Prep, Olympia and
Timberline. Timberline sits as the smallest school in the
classification and the next school that opts up puts Timberline in
3A (which apparently will happen as Woodinville and Mount Si are
ready to move up).
“There’s not a whole lot of options,” said Santos, who is part of
the league’s realignment committee.
It seems the only option would be for the remaining schools to join
the South Puget Sound League.
Santos said even that has some complications. He’s hearing the
rebirth of the North Puget Sound League is imminent with the Kent,
Federal Way and Auburn schools (who’ve all opted-up to 4A) joining
Mount Rainier and possibly Kennedy Catholic (which would have to
opt up to 4A instead of 3A).
That would leave eight schools in the SPSL 4A and possibly three
more with the Narrows schools. Eleven schools aren’t ideal for a
league to schedule (it leaves 10 league games for football (with
nine games) and 20 for sports where you play everybody twice such
basketball and baseball) but at least it’s a league.
“It’s a little crazy now,” Santos said. “We’re not sure what’s
What about the Narrows League 3A?
That is also up in the air. Gig Harbor is apparently staying 3A and
exploring the SPSL 3A where district rival Peninsula plays. The
Tacoma schools (Stadium, Wilson, Mount Tahoma, Lincoln) are also
exploring the SPSL 3A. Foss will be a 2A schools and going for the
Central Kitsap athletic director Bill Baxter said he applied to the
SPSL on Monday.
He’s still hoping to keep the Narrows 3A alive and could do it with
CK, Gig, Yelm, Timberline, North Thurston, Shelton and one or two
“My hope is we get seven, eight schools that want to fit together,”
The Olympic League seems as it will remain the same with two
divisions. Klahowya will remain at 1A and along s Coupeville wants
to return (and I hear it will), it should stay.
Schools have to decide if they want to opt up by Jan. 13. Once
the numbers are set, leagues have a better idea what they will
Led by Brandon Forster’s win at 138 pounds, South Kitsap took
third at the elite Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships on
Saturday in Vancouver.
Forster beat Michael Abeyta of McMinnville, Oregon, in the finals
Union of Vancouver won the team title with 173 points. SK had 163.
Olympic was fifth at 133.
Sebastian Robles took third at 132 pounds for SK.
Olympic’s Geordyn Shinard was second at 195 pounds. He lost to
Spencer Shultz of Edmonds-Woodway 3-2.
Central Kitsap’s Calvin Fischer was second for the second
consecutive year. He was pinned in the 170-pound by Trey Meyer of
East Valley of Spokane. He was second at 160 pounds last year.
You can see complete results here.