WIAA opens door to return to 16-team state hoops tourney

The WIAA sent out minutes from it’s March Executive Board meeting. You can read it all below, but here’s something that jumped out:

Finally, the Board expressed willingness to work with the superintendents group that is researching the possibility of returning to a 16-team basketball tournament format.

Interesting.

Here’s the whole release:

WIAA Announces Executive Board Action From March Meeting

RENTON, Wash. (Monday, March 30,2015) – The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Board concluded its March meeting.

During the meeting, the Board took action on a number of items. The first approved motion was the spring allocations and draws. The allocations can be found HERE. The draws for tennis and softball will not be released until Sunday, May 24, after all of the teams have qualified. The draws for soccer and baseball will be posted along with the brackets by April 15.

The Board also approved on an experiment for the 2016 1B/2B State Wrestling Tournament to allow a 12-person entry instead of eight. In addition, the Board approved allocations for a 30-entry event for the 1B/2B Girls State Golf Tournament due to the fact that there were not enough schools that met the team definition for an eight-team entry and a 40-golfer event.

Regional baseball sites were approved for the spring and can be found HERE.

The 2015 Curt and Chee Chee Bruskland Award Recipient will be Jim Caughlin. Caughlin has staffed the pass gate at many WIAA State Championships including football, basketball, StarTrack and gymnastics for over 30 years. A former football player at Portland State University in the 1950’s, Caughlin spent time as a counselor in Oregon before becoming the Director of the Lincoln Bowl. Caughlin will be recognized at the WIAA Coaches School for his services and efforts in supporting high school activities.

Finally, the Board expressed willingness to work with the superintendents group that is researching the possibility of returning to a 16-team basketball tournament format. The Board will provide data, committee membership and any other service the group requests. In return, the Executive Board has requested that the group includes a representative(s) from the Superintendents Advisory Committee.

The entire Executive Board action can be found below. For any questions about the Board action, please contact the WIAA Office. Full minutes of the meeting will be posted on the WIAA website.

Directed staff to not approve any waivers of 18.19.0 for 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A schools. Due to questions regarding the intent and implementation of this rule, the Executive Board will provide direction regarding this rule for 2015-16
Approved new Handbook language for rule 17.12.2
Minimum Practice Requirement: Each student is required to complete the minimum number of practices in a specific sport the day before participating in a game. The minimum number is included in the specific sport sections of the WIAA Handbook.
Approved Year to Date Financials
Approved on Second Reading 2015-16 Budget
Approved Jim Caughlin as the Curt and Chee Chee Bruskland Award Recipient
Approved Spring Allocations
Approved Spring Draws
Approved 1B/2B Girls Golf Allocations for a 30 entry event
Approved WMEA rule changes for 2016
Approved 1B/2B Wrestling Tournament Format Experiment for 2015-16
Approved 1B/2B Wrestling Allocations Policy
Directed Andy Barnes to get a full report from state golf committee on what team golf format looks like and report back in June
Directed staff and legal counsel to investigate options for an accommodation at State Volleyball for the Saturday Sabbath schools
Approved LaCrosse request to allow the school to combine with more than one school in a sport for the 2015-16 school year; the school district will need to determine the process by which families will select the school, with board support for the school closest to the family residence.
Approved Regional Baseball Sites
Approved State Track and Field Schedules
Moved to acknowledge superintendent’s efforts to research the state basketball tournament format and request this group work with representatives of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and WASA’s Ad Hoc representative on the WIAA Executive Board.
Took action to address a request by superintendent’s group that is working on returning to a 16 team basketball tournament
Approved 2015-16 Calendar

North Kitsap soccer loses DeLuna again

North Kitsap boys soccer player Raul DeLuna has left the Vikings for the second time in his career.

This time, it’s for good.

DeLuna, who plays his club soccer at Crossfire Premier, began his senior season at North Kitsap, but he didn’t stay long. A coaching change at Crossfire drew DeLuna back to the club, which doesn’t allow its players to compete simultaneously in high school soccer.

DeLuna led the Vikings in scoring last season, so it’s a significant loss.

North Kitsap head coach Greg St. Peter said his team needed to hit the “reset button” after learning DeLuna would not be returning for the rest of the season.

DeLuna made his mark as a freshman at North Kitsap, but then skipped his sophomore season with training with an academy in Brazil.

Kingston’s Smith nearing 100 wins at school

Kingston boys soccer coach Craig Smith said he’s looking to provide his team with some extra motivation this season.

Getting Smith his 100th win at Kingston might do the trick.

Smith, who is in his eighth season coaching the Buccaneers, is getting close to the century mark for victories. His overall mark after Tuesday’s win against Sequim is 92-24-9.

Take a look at Smith’s career at Kingston. It’s pretty impressive.

2008: 13-2-3 (state quarterfinals)

2009: 12-5-0

2010: 13-2-2

2011: 11-2-3

2012: 8-5-4

2013: 15-4-0

2014: 18-3-0 (state quarterfinals)

2015: 2-1-0 (through 3 games)

Four Kitsap seniors finish prep careers in all-state girls hoops game

Olympic’s Olivia Williams and Rebekah Baugh of North Kitsap helped the Class 2A beat the 1A squad in the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) Senior All-State game Saturday at King’s High in Seattle. Crosspoint was represented by Cailyn Cattell and Desere’e Doty on the 1B team, which was beaten by the 2B team, 81-64.

The 2A won 93-75.  Baugh had 8 points and five rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes off the bench while Williams finished with three points and two rebounds in 19 minutes. Mork Morris’ Ashley Coons led all players with 19 points.

In the 1B/2B game, Cattell finished with 8 points and five rebounds, two assists and two steals and was the only local player to start. Doty finished with 5 points and two rebounds in 17:42 minutes off the bench.

All four players are going on to play in college; Cattell at Linfield, Doty at Grand Canyon (soccer), Baugh at St. Martin’s and Williams at Umpqua CC.

WSGBCA also announced its coaches/players of the year.

1B player of the year:  Savanna Chadwick, Colton
1B coach of the year:  Al Smeenk, Sunnyside Christian
2B player of the year:  Baylee Olsen, Wahkiakum
2B coach of the year:  Bryan Boesel, Okanogan
1A player of the year:  Savanna Hanson, King’s
1A coach of the year:  Jeff Pietz, Lakeside Nine Mile Falls
2A players of the year:  Karley Eaton, Mark Morris and Kourtney Eaton, Mark Morris
2A coach of the year:  Steve Rooklidge, Mark Morris
3A player of the year:  Jayde Christopher, Cleveland
3A coach of the year:  Everett Edwards, Lynnwood
4A player of the year:  Otiona Gildon, Gonzaga Prep
4A coach of the year:  John Augustavo, Inglemoor
WSGBCA 2015 Washington State Coach of the Year:  Clark Vining, Colton
WSGBCA 2015 Ms. Basketball:  Laura Stockton, Gonzaga Prep
1B vs. 2B player of the game:  Anna Cook, La Conner
1A vs. 2A player of the game:  Zykera Rice, Clover Park
3A vs. 4A player of the game:  Otiona Gildon, Gonzaga Prep

 

Texas abandoning steroid testing program

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — When Texas officials launched a massive public high school steroids testing program over fears of rampant doping from the football fields to the tennis courts, they promised a model program for the rest of the country to follow.

But almost no one did. And after spending $10 million testing more than 63,000 students to catch just a handful of cheaters, Texas lawmakers appear likely to defund the program this summer. If they do, New Jersey and Illinois will have the only statewide high school steroids testing programs left.

Even those who pushed for the Texas program in 2007 now call it a colossal misfire, either a waste of money or too poorly designed to catch the drug users some insist are slipping through the cracks.

“I believe we made a huge mistake,” said Don Hooton, who started the Taylor Hooton Foundation for steroid abuse education after his 17-year-old son’s 2003 suicide was linked to the drug’s use, and was one of the key advocates in creating the Texas program.

Hooton believes the low number of positive tests doesn’t mean Texas athletes are clean, only that they’re not getting caught because of inadequate testing and loopholes that allow them to cheat the process.

“Coaches, schools, and politicians have used the abysmal number of positive tests to prove there’s no steroid problem,” Hooton said. “What did we do here? We just lulled the public to sleep.”

Texas wasn’t the first state to test high schoolers. New Jersey and Florida were first and Illinois started about the same time as Texas. But the Lone Star State employed its typical bigger-is-better swagger by pumping in millions to sweep the state for cheaters. At the time, Texas had more than 780,000 public high school athletes, by far the most in the nation. A positive test would kick the star quarterback or point guard out of the lineup for at least 30 days.

Schools across the country closely watched Texas, said Don Colgate, director of sports and sports medicine at the National Federation of State High School Associations.

“Texas was going out in front in a big way,” Colgate said. “(But) it’s not a cheap process and they knew there were not going to do it on the scale of what Texas did.”

New Jersey and Illinois each spends about $100,000 annually testing a few hundred athletes. Florida folded its $100,000 program in 2009.

There were questions from the start whether Texas should go so big.

The University Interscholastic League, the state’s governing body for high school sports, surveyed its member public schools in 2002 and the vast majority said testing should be a local decision. By 2007, headlines of performance-enhancing drug abuse in professional sports and a push from advocates like Hooton prodded lawmakers to forge ahead and they pumped in $6 million for the first two years.

Texas hired Drug Free Sport, which conducts testing for the NCAA, the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA, to randomly select students, pull them out of class and have them supply a urine sample. The first 19,000 tests produced just nine confirmed cases of steroid use, with another 60 “protocol violations” for skipping the test.

Few saw those numbers as good news of clean athletes or even as proof the program could be a successful deterrent. Most saw it as fodder for criticism that the state was wasting its money.

And national momentum was ebbing. The economic downturn pinched state budgets. Other health issues, including heat-related deaths and head safety, jumped to the forefront.

Anti-doping pioneer Don Catlin, who spent years conducting the NCAA’s laboratory tests at UCLA, said the Texas plan was well-intentioned but didn’t test for enough drugs in the early years and had gaps in protocols that cheaters could exploit. Texas tested for only about 10 drugs in the first wave, a fraction of the anabolic agents on the market, which Catlin warned would be easy to avoid detection.

Testers also can lose the element of surprise because they have to tell school officials when they’ll be on campus. While that is supposed to be confidential, the news can slip out and UIL has punished schools for violations.

Although students are required to empty their pockets and lift shirts above their waste band, testing officials also aren’t allowed to physically watch the person providing a urine sample. Privacy for under-age athletes is a potentially huge loophole for cheaters.

The testing protocols, including which drugs were tested for, were developed by the UIL and Drug Free Sport.

“The program they developed was bound to fail,” Catlin said. “I told them years ago to put the money into something else.”

State lawmakers have been scaling down the Texas program almost since it began.

It was trimmed to $2 million by 2010 and has continued to shrink to about $500,000 a year. That required testing fewer athletes and targeting specific sports such as football, wrestling and baseball.

UIL Athletic Director Mark Cousins said Texas now targets about 60 drugs but the number of positive tests still remains low. In the 2013-2014 school year, the UIL tested 2,633 students and caught two.

Hooton said those low figures don’t match anecdotal evidence of higher steroid use among teens. A 2014 study by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids found that 7 percent of high schoolers reported using steroids from 2009-2013.

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which reviews state programs, recommended in 2014 that lawmakers drop the program. The commission’s report noted that unless the state wanted to pump up to $5 million a year into a program on par with elite college and pro leagues, it wouldn’t be effective either in catching cheaters or scaring them away from drugs.

Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that exposed performance-enhancing drug use by former cyclist Lance Armstrong, scoffed at Texas for moving to eliminate its program. He noted Texas cities have been willing to pay millions for state-of-the-art high school football facilities.

“They’re willing to spend ($60) million building one high school football stadium but can’t find a fraction of that to protect the health and safety of young athletes? Come on,” Tygart said. “It’s a joke.”

Area seniors named to All-State girls hoops roster

Olympic’s Olivia Williams, North Kitsap’s Rebekah Baugh, and Crosspoint’s Cailyn Cattell and Desere’e Doty were named to the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-State basketball teams for their respective classifications on Monday.

Claire Martin, a Bremerton resident who plays for Bellarmine Prep, was named to the 4A squad. Martin will play volleyball at Washington State next season.

Williams and Baugh are on the 2A team while Doty and Cattell are on the 1B team. Williams will play basketball at Umpqua CC, Baugh is headed to St. Martin’s while Cattell will play at Linfield. Doty will play soccer at Grand Canyon State.

The games will be held Saturday at King’s High School in Seattle. The 1B vs. 2B game is at 2 p.m., 1A vs. 2A at 4 p.m. and 3A vs. 4A at 6 p.m.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors/students with ASB.

Metro League changes benefit Bainbridge softball, others

The changes that will take place this softball season in the Metro League has been a long time coming.

The Mountain, Valley and Sound Divisions are now weighted, based on teams’ finishes in the Metro tournament and predictions of their success the next two years. The Mountain is the top division, Valley is intermediate and Sound is the lowest. Mountain teams include Bainbridge, Ballard, Holy Names, Seattle Prep and West Seattle. Valley teams are Blanchet, Chief Sealth, Eastside Catholic, Garfield, Nathan Hale and Roosevelt. The Sound teams are Cleveland, Franklin, Ingraham, Lakeside and Rainier Beach.

Mountain teams will play a 14-game schedule, facing everyone in their division twice and Valley teams once. Mountain teams will not play the Sound division. Gone are the days of Bainbridge softball putting a 15-0 wallop on Beach or a 19-1 pummeling on Nathan Hale. Those games benefit no one and I’m glad to see that go away as I’m sure both teams are as well.

Valley teams will play 15 league games (they play everyone once) and Sound teams will play each other twice and Valley teams once for a 14-game league schedule.

Teams in the Valley and Sound that have the highest division record will move up another division, but will need to meet some criteria first;

  • Head-to-head league record with the last-place team from the higher division
  • Head-to-head in Metro tournament with the last-place team from the higher division
  • Overall finish in Metro tournament with the last-place team from the higher division

The changes toward weighted divisions also meant changes to the league schedule. Here’s how that shapes up;

  • Teams will no longer play the same team back-to-back (Wednesday and Friday)
  • Teams will face division competition once in the beginning of the season and once at the end
  • Mountain and Sound will have room in their schedules to play 6 non-league games while Valley will have 5 non-league games
  • Spring Break league games will be scheduled during their respective breaks. This allows the league to start play later in the season and continue without breaks. The breaks are March 30-April 3 (Bainbridge); April 6-10 (private schools) and April 13-17 (Seattle Public Schools)
  • Games will be played on Mondays and Tuesdays, leaving Wednesday as a rainout day

And lastly, the all-important playoffs.

The Metro will play a 12-team league tournament. Top four teams in Mountain will have the No. 1-4 seeds, Valley has 5-6th seeds depending on their head-to-head record with the No. 5 Mountain team. The 7-11 seeds will be awarded to the Valley teams based on division standings while the 12th seed will be the top team from the Sound. The Metro has nine berths to the SeaKing District tournament and six berths from district to state in 2015 and five berths in 2016.