By Mike Cane For The Enterprise
Starting this fall, the road to Class 4A state tournaments will change for many Western Conference sports teams.
Based on a pending agreement between District 1 — which includes 11 4A Wesco schools following the new state-classification realignment — and District 2 (11 4A KingCo schools), the districts will pool their allocated state/regional-tournament berths. It means that in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 Wesco and KingCo will each send at least two teams to state/regional in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball. The new twist is that each district’s third-place team in those sports will meet in a Wesco-vs.-KingCo battle for the bi-district’s fifth (final) berth to regional/state.
The agreement isn’t official yet but it will happen, Wesco president Greg Erickson said on June 29.
In recent years Wesco had three automatic state/regional berths. But after the latest enrollment count and realignment Wesco and KingCo were allocated split allocations: one conference gets three berths the first year and two the next year; the other conference gets two and then three. To avoid giving either conference the short end of the stick, Wesco and KingCo decided to pool their berths and give their third-best teams a chance to advance past districts every year, said Erickson.
The bi-district agreement does not affect football, which will stick with a quad-district playoff format, Erickson said. Golf and swimming formats will also remain the same. The wrestling format has not been determined.
Cross country, track and tennis will be affected. Details have not been finalized for boys and girls bi-district track meets, said Erickson, but boys and girls cross country will each have a 16-team 4A bi-district meet (eight Wesco teams, eight KingCo teams). The top eight Wesco teams and all top-40 individuals at the 4A Wesco league championships will advance to the bi-district meet.
Wesco’s 11 4A schools are divided into the North Division (Arlington, Lake Stevens, Marysville-Pilchuck, Monroe, Snohomish, Stanwood) and the South Division (Cascade, Edmonds-Woodway, Jackson, Kamiak, Mariner). KingCo’s 11 4A schools are Ballard, Bothell, Eastlake, Garfield, Inglemoor, Issaquah, Newport, Redmond, Roosevelt, Skyline and Woodinville.
Mike Cane writes for the Herald in Everett.