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WIAA preliminary student count could shift league


The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association on Nov. 22 released student enrollment counts for its member schools for the upcoming 2014-16 classification cycle that groups competing schools by size.

This is an important cycle as it is the first of a new four-year system in which the schools are divided by equal percentage and numbers in each classification (like 93-207 in the present 2B category). This is the first year of the new counting system in which grades 9-11 are counted rather than the past 10-12 system that had been in use since the late 1960s.

With the new counting system, Lake Roosevelt had 159 students grades 9-11. This is down from 2012 when LR came in at 174. LR is in the safe range of schools in the middle of the 2B classification (93-215) and will remain there for the new cycle. The other four schools in the 2B classification in the present cycle (Bridgeport, Liberty Bell, Manson, and Oroville) will remain in the 2B ranks for the new cycle also.

The new range will bring Okanogan and Brewster into the Central Washington 2B. Okanogan has 209 and Brewster is at 188. Soap Lake has gained students, and at 105 will be returning to the 2B ranks.

Brewster’s return is not certain. The Bears did wait until the opt-up deadline in 2012 to declare for the Caribou Trail League, so they may yet opt up. For now, though, Brewster will be rejoining LR in the 2B ranks and the rivalry could be renewed in the fall of 2014.

Riverside Christian is dropping to 1B in the next cycle with their enrollment sitting at 79.

There have been rumors that Okanogan would opt up to stay with Omak. Okanogan Athletic Director Steve Chamberlin said that the Bulldogs will go to the best travel situation. Okanogan will still schedule Omak no matter where Okanogan is at. Okanogan is also looking at only a two-year stay at 2B, as the classes in the middle school are between 80 and 100 students.

In District 5, four schools fit in the 2B ranks: Kittitas, White Swan, Cle Elum-Roslyn and Mabton. There was hope that La Salle and either River View or Columbia-Burbank would also find themselves in 2B in the new cycle so District 5 could field an independent 2B league. As it stands, though, the four schools in District 5 will continue to combine with the North Central League.

With all the changes, LR could be looking at moving back to the Central Washington 2B League South division. LR would be joined by White Swan, Soap Lake, Kittitas, Cle Elum-Roslyn, and Mabton. Oroville, Brewster, Bridgeport, Liberty Bell, Manson, and Okanogan would make up the North Division.

If Mabton moves into the Southeast 2B instead of the Central Washington 2B, and if White Swan or Cle Elum-Roslyn opt up to the South Central Athletic Conference, then the 10-school CWL would continue in the present league scheduling policy. LR would play all the District 6 schools twice and the District 5 schools once during the season.

This would give LR 16 league games in basketball. Football would only have one non-league game a season.

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