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Posted on Feb 19, 2019

The Jacks and the 1A question: Challenges or championships, or both?

An amendment to the bylaws of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association will likely drop Quincy High School from 2A to 1A in 2020. Whether that’s a good thing depends on whom you ask.
Manny Ybarra and Arturo Guerrero both coached Quincy sports, with Guerrero at the helm of Quincy boys soccer the last time the school played in 1A.
Ybarra was the boys wrestling coach prior to current head coach Greg Martinez.
Guerrero won the state title in his first year as coach, so the 1A level was all he knew, he said.
“I didn’t know any different,” he said. “I didn’t have a taste of 3A, 4A, 2A, any of that.” A return to 1A should allow Quincy to compete for state championships year after year, Guerrero said.
“It could be good for some sports, but I’m not sure it’s good for all the sports,” he added.
Quincy returned to 2A a a while later and Guerrero’s boys soccer team again reached the state soccer finals in 2016, losing in a penalty-kick shootout to defending champions Archbishop Murphy.
“I didn’t notice that big of a difference between 1A and 2A because, honestly, we had really good players, really good tactics,” Guerrero said in Spanish. “We were hungry to compete and to win.”
That difference, Guerrero said, is more noticeable in basketball, where his son and nephew play. Other schools have more access to trainings and camps year-round, he said.
“So it (the move) would be good for some sports,” Guerrero said.
A former wrestling coach, Ybarra said his sport was able to stay competitive in both 1A and 2A, so a switch would not be as pivotal.
“Wrestling is one sport where it doesn’t appear like we have suffered that much going to 2A,” Ybarra said. Asked what impact a move would have for the athletics program as a whole, Ybarra said “My standards are, the tougher the competition, the better you get. To me, 2A is tougher competition.”
With bigger schools, more children to choose from and other factors, 2A is and would be a steeper mountain to climb than 1A, Ybarra said.
“I always liked wrestling the tougher teams because I thought it made our team better,” he said.
Ybarra added, “Does that help us in the end, during postseason tournaments in wrestling and other sports? Probably not because there are some other really good teams.”
Ybarra agreed that a move to 1A would benefit some of the sports programs at QHS, but reiterated his mantra that a tougher slate of opponents would make the Jacks and Lady Jacks better.

By Sebastian Moraga,