Could 2A Evergreen Conference merge into a 15-school league?

mwochnick@theolympian.comJanuary 8, 2014 

The saga that is the 2A Evergreen Conference’s future added a new chapter Wednesday.


With the possible departure of 2A EvCo member schools River Ridge, Aberdeen, and Capital, administrators from the remaining four schools had preliminary talks Wednesday with members from the Greater St. Helens League about how to move forward for the 2014-'16 reclassification cycle.


While nothing was finalized, W.F. West athletic director Scott Chamberlain said talks emerged about a possible 15-team 3A/2A multi-classification league with the four remaining EvCo schools (Black Hills, Centralia, Tumwater and W.F. West), along with the seven-team 2A GSHL (Mark Morris, RA Long, Woodland, Ridgefield, Washougal, Hockinson, Hudson's Bay) and four-team 3A GSHL (Columbia River, Prairie, Kelso and Fort Vancouver) with separate divisions within the league.


And how teams would qualify for the postseason has yet to be hashed out.


“Looking at options is what we’re doing,” Chamberlain said. “The options aren’t really clear at this point.”


The EvCo has few options should River Ridge gain acceptance into the 2A SPSL (it will know its fate later this month), plus Aberdeen being granted membership into a hybrid 2A/1A league, and the final enrollment data showing Capital as the smallest 3A school in the state.


However, Capital principal Chris Woods said Tuesday the school has asked the WIAA for a recount, meaning, an appeal. Woods said the school’s calculated enrollment was 966; the WIAA’s count is 990. If Capital wins the appeal, it likely will head down to 2A and a natural fit back into the 2A EvCo for a sustainable five-team league. The classification numbers aren’t finalized until the WIAA Executive Board approves them at the end of January.


Capital's unresolved fate kept athletic directors from moving forward during their talks Wednesday.


Said Chamberlain: We'd love to keep the Evergreen 2A together, but we have to fill schedules.


“The four us are bound together to keep this together.”



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