Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

The dust has nearly settled. Soon, league affiliations will be concrete. Classification numbers for the 2024-28 cycle have been finalized by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).

Some schools are moving up, some are moving down. In the South Sound, these schools are moving up:

Auburn (4A from 3A)Auburn Riverside (4A from 3A)Yelm (4A from 3A)Bonney Lake (4A from 3A)Spanaway Lake (4A from 3A)Stadium (4A from 3A)Enumclaw (3A from 2A)White River (3A from 2A)Shelton (3A from 2A)Eatonville (2A from 1A)

Bellarmine Prep, a private school in Tacoma with 2A enrollment, has long opted up to Class 4A. Bellarmine is opting up instead to 3A this time around. Tacoma public schools Silas and Mount Tahoma, which both have 2A enrollment, also are opting up to 3A. Kent-Meridian, which has 3A enrollment this cycle, successfully appealed to 3A. Federal Way, previously in 4A, is moving down to 3A.

Bonney Lake, Spanaway Lake and Yelm are likely joining the 4A SPSL. Bellarmine, which is moving down to 3A, will join the new 3A league in the South Sound, a merger of the 3A South Sound Conference and the 3A Pierce County League. The new league will likely include Central Kitsap, Peninsula, Gig Harbor, Bellarmine, Mount Tahoma, Silas, Lincoln, Lakes, North Thurston, Timberline and River Ridge.

Shelton, which had its appeal to stay in 2A denied, is moving up to 3A and finds itself in no man’s land geographically. Shelton athletic director Scott Chamberlain told the TNT on Monday that Shelton will continue to compete in the Class 2A Evergreen Conference and will go its separate way in the postseason, competing in 3A district and state tournaments.

“The competition level (in the 2A EvCo) is good for us, the travel is good for us,” Chamberlain said. “They were willing to take us. Now we’ve got some work to do for what postseason looks like.”

Eatonville, which competed in the 1A Evergreen last cycle, plans to move to the 2A South Puget Sound League, which is losing White River and Enumclaw. White River and Enumclaw are likely headed to the 3A North Puget Sound League, replacing Auburn and Auburn Riverside, which will move to the 4A NPSL.

Stadium, which lost its appeal to remain in 3A with the other Tacoma public schools, is targeting a move to the 4A NPSL, a source told the TNT, but Stadium could still end up in the 4A SPSL. Federal Way, which competed in 4A last cycle, is moving to the 3A NPSL.

Here’s what some of the new local leagues could look like:

4A NPSL

Auburn

Auburn Riverside

Kennedy Catholic

Kentridge

Kentwood

Mount Rainier

Stadium (TBD)

Tahoma

4A SPSL

NORTH DIVISION

Bonney Lake

Curtis

Puyallup

Rogers

South Kitsap

Sumner

SOUTH DIVISION

Bethel

Emerald Ridge

Graham-Kapowsin

Olympia

Spanaway Lake

Yelm

3A NPSL

Auburn Mountainview

Decatur

Enumclaw

Federal Way

Kent-Meridian

Kentlake

Thomas Jefferson

Todd Beamer

White River

NEW 3A LEAGUE (name TBD)

NORTH DIVISION

Central Kitsap

Silas

Bellarmine

Mount Tahoma

Lincoln

Gig Harbor

SOUTH DIVISION

Timberline

Capital

River Ridge

North Thurston

Peninsula

Lakes

2A SPSL

Clover Park

Eatonville

Fife

Foss

Franklin Pierce

Orting

Steilacoom

Washington

2A EvCo

Aberdeen

Black Hills

Centralia

Shelton (3A)

Tumwater

W.F. West

1A Nisqually

Annie Wright

Bellevue Christian

Cascade Christian

Charles Wright

East Jefferson

Klahowya

Life Christian

Seattle Christian

Vashon Island

League affiliation across the state is expected to be finalized by the end of January.

This story was originally published January 22, 2024, 2:51 PM.

Profile Image of Jon Manley

Jon Manley covers high school sports for The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner and Gonzaga University graduate, Manley has covered the South Sound sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.

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