Get used to seeing Vancouver-area schools in South Sound on a regular basis starting this fall.
New league alignments were a big topic at Thursday’s monthly District IV meeting, where athletic directors finalized plans for the 2A Evergreen Conference and the 3A Greater St. Helens League to form a partnership to help fill the gaps in athletic schedules.
The remaining four EvCo teams (Black Hills, Centralia, Tumwater and W.F. West) and the four 3A GSHL teams (Prairie, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver and Kelso) sealed an agreement to play nonleague contests against each other; football schedules between the two leagues already are squared away.
For the 2014 football season, Black Hills, Centralia and Tumwater will play Columbia River; Black Hills, Centralia and W.F. West will play Kelso; and W.F. West will play Prairie.
Black Hills athletic director Don Farler said Thursday that an end-of-February deadline has been set to finalize league schedules and agreements from the 2A EvCo and 3A GSHL for all remaining sports.
Games against 2A GSHL schools also could happen as possible schedule fillers where needed for EvCo schools.
“It’s about working on how we can help each other out,” Farler said.
Playoff allocations and structuring for 2A teams is still a work in progress. Aberdeen and Rochester, which were approved 2A members to join a 2A/1A league with the remaining 1A Southwest Washington Evergreen schools, can still qualify for 2A District IV postseason play.
The specific details, however, are still undecided.
“It’s a hot topic of study,” Farler said. “We’ll continue that discussion.”
Other league/district news:
• While it wasn’t a unanimous decision, district officials voted to release River Ridge from District IV.
The Hawks are set to join the 2A South Puget Sound League (SPSL), a Pierce County-based league with Clover Park, Steilacoom, Franklin Pierce, Fife, Washington, Orting and White River, after being accepted into the league Monday.
• Capital High School Principal Chris Woods announced the newly reclassified 3A Cougars applied to rejoin the 3A Narrows League, where they were a member in 2010 and ’11.
At 990 students in grades 9-11, Capital has the smallest enrollment of any 3A school that didn’t opt up to 3A.
• Newly reclassified 2B Rainier will join Ilwaco, Tacoma Baptist, Chief Leschi and Life Christian — pending the latter Pierce County school’s release from District 2 — as members of an 11-school Pacific League.
• District IV director Rich Frazer noted the 1B independent teams — formerly of the Pacific Coast League, which disbanded Jan. 1, 2013 — will remain independents.
Mary M. Knight, Oakville, Wishkah Valley, Lake Quinault, North River, Taholah and 1B drop-down Naselle will be independent.
Projected South Sound Leagues
4A Narrows3a narrows
Gig HarborCentral Kitsap
2A Evergreen2A/1A SWW evergreen
*-denotes 2A schools
2A South Puget SounD2B Pacific
Clover ParkChief Leschi
Franklin PierceLife Christian
River RidgeNorthwest Christian
1B Columbia Valley1B INDEPENDENTS
Columbia AdventistLake Quinault
Firm FoundationsMary M. Knight
Pope John Paul IINaselle
Three Rivers ChristianNorth River
Wash. School for the DeafOakville
Wishkah ValleyMeg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com theolympian.com/ south-sound-sports @MegWochnick