Sports

More juggling in store for WesCo football next year

It’s moving time again in the WesCo Conference, but this time Oak Harbor High won’t need to change its address.

After a massive reorganization this year, there might be a slight shift in the WesCo Conference next year, but then only when it comes to the gridiron.

The Edmonds School District has formally applied to the Northwest 3A League for admittance of Lynnwood and Meadowdale in football only. Lynnwood and Meadowdale, are classified as 3A schools but play in the WesCo South Division with eight 4A schools.

This year both teams struggled against the larger schools in football, with Meadowdale going 3-6 and Lynnwood 0-9. To qualify for the Northwest District 3A playoffs either team would have had to go 6-3.

By joining the Northwest 3A in football only, the Chiefs and the Royals should get a competitive chance against schools their own size.

Distance between schools and expenses precludes a switch to the Northwest League in anything more than football for the two schools. The Northwest League is open to the possibility of taking the two teams from the Edmonds school district since it would give the league 10 squads and allow for a nine-game all-league schedule next season.

Oak Harbor athletic director Jeff Stone believes that the schools are caught in a difficult dilemma.

“It’s a pretty tough situation for those schools,” he said. “Some of those Northwest teams like Ferndale and Lynden are pretty tough. The good 3A teams can play with anyone.”

There is one wrench in the plan. Shorecrest out of the Shoreline district played at 4A this season but with recent attendance numbers is likely to drop back to 3A for next year.. The Scot’s were four students under the 3A limit of 1,200 students with the October enrollment count. Counts will be taken again this month and again in December, but it is unlikely that the school will go over the limit. this year. The Scot’s would also like to move to a 3A League for football.

“Ten’s a good number for a league, then you get to play everyone once,” said Stone. “You don’t want an 11-team league.”

This year the Wildcats played an eight-game league schedule against all the other teams in the WesCo North Division, and one non-conference game against WF West (Chehalis) of the Black Hills League in southwest Washington. Teams from the WesCo North and South Divisions only met in district crossover playoff games.

The athletic directors of the WesCo Conference and the Northwest League are scheduled to meet on Dec. 4 to discuss possibilities for the move. According to Stone one idea being proposed would move two of the three schools up to the Northwest 3A, but rotate who moves up every year. Another possibility is for Shorecrest to join either the Metro or KingCo League’s in football only.

The moves shouldn’t affect Oak Harbor too much. according to Stone, the Wildcats are on the lower side of 4A numbers, but are not in danger of dropping to 3A. Where it might affect the Cats is the makeup of the WesCo North Division next season. One or two division opponents this season might have to slide down to the South.

Stone believes that one of the likely teams to switch to the South Division would be Cascade. The Bruins are the only Everett school district school in the North Division while its district brethren Everett and Jackson already play in the South division.

“We would lose two probably, though there not much difference for us,” said Stone. “There are some intriguing possibilities on what might happen. Everything will fall into place the next four weeks.”

You can contact sports editor Matt Moss at sports@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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