Sultan’s Derek Feltner takes a handoff against Granite Falls on Sept. 30, 2022, in Sultan. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Sultan’s Derek Feltner takes a handoff against Granite Falls on Sept. 30, 2022, in Sultan. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Sultan denied KingCo membership, still searching for new league

The high school is moving up to Class 2A in the fall, but hasn’t found a conference to play in.

Sultan High School is still searching for a conference its athletics programs can call home.

The Turks in mid-February were denied an application to join KingCo as a Class 2A school, leaving Sultan’s league status in limbo for the upcoming 2024-28 classification cycle.

Sultan, a current member of the all-1A Emerald Sound Conference, is slated to move up from 1A to 2A starting next school year. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association approved the next cycle in January.

Sultan, which sits 16 students above the 2A threshold (450), sent in an appeal to the WIAA to remain a 1A school last month, but was denied. After the appeal was denied, the Turks officially applied for membership into KingCo 2A and presented their case to the conference on Feb. 1.

Cedarcrest, which competes in Wesco 3A/2A and remained a 2A school during the reclassification process, also sought membership in KingCo and was approved.

Sultan athletic director Scott Sifferman said KingCo gave multiple reasons related to travel for the denial.

“The league had cited that the schools that we would likely be good matchups for us competitively probably have the least amount of resources to take on additional travel for league games,” Sifferman said.

If Sultan isn’t able to return to the Emerald Sound Conference as the lone 2A school within the league, Sifferman said the next step in the process would be to appeal to the District 2 board of directors in hopes of overturning the denial into KingCo.

If Sultan’s appeal to District 2 is denied, Sifferman said the decision may be left up to the WIAA board, which is scheduled to meet on March 17. A potential move into Wesco, which is a part of District 1, is still on the table for the Turks.

“From the District 1 mindset, whether you’re the Northwest (Conference) schools or the Wesco schools, there’s an element of frustration,” Sifferman said. “Because if we end up in District 1 somewhere along the lines, then that impacts whatever planning they have. … I feel bad for the situation, but it is where we are right now.”

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