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Narrows League to include both 4A, 3A schools
2010-12 Narrows League
2010 South Kitsap Football Schedule
Sept. 3 Vancouver College
Sept. 10 at Tahoma
Sept. 17 Olympia
Sept. 24 at Shelton
Oct. 1 Gig Harbor
Oct. 8 at Bellarmine Prep
Oct. 15 at Mount Tahoma
Oct. 22 Stadium
Oct. 29 at Central Kitsap
* All games are set for 7 p.m.
The Narrows will be a multi-classification league for the first time during the 2010-11 school year.
South Kitsap athletic director Ed Santos said last week that there will be eight Class 4A schools and six 3A in the Narrows.
Bellarmine Prep, Central Kitsap, Gig Harbor, Mount Tahoma, Olympia, Shelton, South and Stadium will be in the larger division. Capital, Foss, Lincoln, Timberline, Wilson and Yelm are in the 3A group.
“This was the most logical way to make it all work,” said Santos, adding that his colleagues examined setting up regionally based divisions before the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released its latest enrollment numbers.
The league arrangement news also enabled South to finalize its football schedule. The Wolves will open against Vancouver College, a private high school in British Columbia. The schools last opened a season against each other in 1947 with Vancouver College winning 14-6. South won 25-0 a year later, and the schools have not played since.
Coach D.J. Sigurdson said the game stemmed from his connections at Eastern Washington University. Sigurdson was a linebacker for the Eagles from 1986-89 and Vancouver College coach Todd Bernett was a quarterback at Eastern a few years later. Both knew each other from coaching clinics, and Sigurdson later contacted Bernett to see if he knew anyone who had an opening on their schedule. Bernett, whose team uses American rules in their games, did and the teams will play at South this year and in 2011 in Vancouver.
“It took all of five minutes,” said Sigurdson, adding that Vancouver College had a game on its schedule canceled shortly before he called. “It just was perfect.”
The Wolves, who advanced to state and had a 10-1 record last year, play their other nonleague contest the following week at Tahoma. The Bears, who play in the 4A South Puget Sound League North Division, finished with a 4-6 record in 2009. Sigurdson also has a connection with Tahoma because his twin nephews played there under coach Tony Davis. The Bears will play at Joe Knowles Field in 2011.
“They’re always solid,” Sigurdson said. “He’s a very good coach.”
South, which has four games at Joe Knowles Field this year, plays two of those contests in the following three weeks. It hosts Olympia on Sept. 17 and Gig Harbor on Oct. 1. Sandwiched between those games is a road contest Sept. 24 at Shelton.
After Gig Harbor, the Wolves then play three of their final four games on the road. They face Bellarmine Prep and Mount Tahoma in consecutive weeks before they return home Oct. 22 against Stadium.
South finishes the regular season with a rivalry game Oct. 29 at Central Kitsap.
“Hopefully, if we do our job there will be something riding on that game,” Sigurdson said. “That will be an exciting game to finish with.”
There will not be any crossover games for the Wolves in football, but Santos said they will be prevalent in other sports to help the 3A Narrows schools fill out their schedules. He said not all schedules have been sorted out for next year, but South will play every team in its division home and away for sports such as soccer and volleyball.
Santos said that could eliminate the need for a league tournament in some sports if each team is playing each other multiple times during the regular season, but he added that the playoff setups are still under discussion.
Whatever is determined likely will change in two years, though. Administrators at two Lacey schools, North Thurston and River Ridge, both expressed in joining the Narrows before enrollment numbers placed them at 2A. Yelm, the eighth-largest 3A school, could be a possibility to move up in two years.
Santos said going to a multi-classification setup makes movement easier in the Narrows, but it still is not ideal.
“I think what everyone would love is some consistency,” he said. “Once you get it figured out, you start it all over again.”