WIAA amendment may spell move to CTL for Quincy
The Quincy Jacks may follow their first season in a new school with a 2020 season full of visits to new schools.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has approved an amendment that would separate schools into their enrollment categories based on the number of percentage points a school sits above the state average of students receiving free or reduced school lunches.
The move would bring more equity to the current system, which sometimes pits richer schools against poorer ones in the same league.
The move would likely drop Quincy into the 1A category, starting in the 2020-2021 season, associate Quincy High School athletic director Mark Kondo said.
Regarding the move, Kondo said there are three possible scenarios: Staying put, or what the WIAA calls the opt-up; moving to the Caribou Trail League; or moving to the South Central Athletic League.
“The school board would have to decide, but I think we would probably go (with) 1A,” Kondo said, later adding that the opt-up is a possibility, but that might leave Quincy as one of the smaller 2A schools.
On the other hand, the CWAC as it stands now has 10 teams, which fills up a schedule faster than a smaller league would.
A CWAC team is more likely to have C teams and JV teams, Kondo added.
The current CTL includes Omak, Okanogan, Cascade, Chelan and Cashmere, and in past years has housed teams like Tonasket and Brewster, as well as the Jacks.
The SCAC houses Cle Elum/Roslyn, Goldendale, Granger, Highland, Connell, LaSalle, Naches Valley, Zillah, College Place, Kiona-Benton, River View, Warden, Royal and Wahluke. The SCAC has 14 teams, but most of them a lot farther away from Quincy than the CTL teams.
“With the Yakima schools, we got an hour and a half, sometimes two hours in the winter,” Kondo said. “Other than Omak, it’s not quite as bad (in the CTL).”
Quincy has a history with the CTL, having competed in that league before. That’s not the case with the SCAC, Kondo said.
Furthermore, the CTL is composed of schools in District 6, which is the same district Quincy is in.
“The advantages of going to 1A is, I think we would be more competitive,” Kondo said. “It may boost participation.” The CTL is a good league, Kondo added.
Until the WIAA gets hard data, it will be hard to know what will occur, Kondo said, but “it behooves schools to have that discussion,” he added.
At the same time, Kondo noted that the new formula may force some CTL teams to drop from 1A, starting in 2020.
“But there could be some other 2A schools that may possibly drop down, or some of those 1A schools may opt-up (and stay),” Kondo added.
In 2014, Quincy won a state title while in 1A.
Two coaches seemed at least somewhat open to the idea of a move.
Cory Medina, head coach of the Quincy Jacks varsity girls basketball team, said that one good thing about the CTL is that Quincy would be able to compete with its middle-of-the-road teams.
Cashmere is the current, two-time state runner-up, but Quincy may be able to hang against Omak or Chelan, Medina said.
Seeing a Quincy team be competitive most nights might help draw youngsters to the sport, Medina added.
Quincy boys head coach Scott Bierlink called the CTL a tough league whose top teams may be as good as the CWAC’s top teams.
“If we do move down to the CTL, it would give us a little better chance to compete,” Bierlink said.
He then added, “I grew up in the CTL, so I’m a fan of the old CTL: Cashmere, Tonasket, Quincy, and others. Good rivalries, great basketball, so if that’s the way it pans out, it plays in our favor a little bit.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org