Central Kitsap will compete in 3A Narrows League next fall


Central Kitsap will not compete in the state’s largest classification for the first time in more than two decades.

CK athletic director Bill Baxter said Wednesday afternoon the decision was difficult because of CK’s longstanding ties to 4A Narrows. The school has competed in the state’s largest classification, which formerly was known as AAA, since 1989-90. The Cougars then moved to 4A when that classification was added in 1997.

“I’m going to miss playing those league games with South Kitsap, Olympia and Bellarmine because they made us a better team,” said Baxter, adding that it was his preference to remain in that league and he hopes to schedule nonleague games against those programs.

But he said that desire was outweighed by the prospect of competing in the eight-team 3A Narrows, which officially will add Capital from the Evergreen Conference. With eight teams, Baxter believes the league will be in line for more playoff berths. In addition to those schools, 3A Narrows will include Foss, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, North Thurston, Shelton and Wilson. Bellarmine Prep, Gig Harbor, Olympia, South Kitsap, Stadium, Timberline and Yelm will compete in 4A Narrows.

The WIAA reclassifies schools every two years based on enrollment to avoid imbalances. Schools with the top 16 to 17 percent enrollment, such as South, are recognized as 4A.

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