Cascade Conference Dissolves
Cedarcrest High School Joins Wesco Conference
The message below was previously provided in an e-mail to Cedarcrest families and our Riverview Community.
As many of you have heard, the Cascade Conference is dissolving at the end of this school year. The decision to dissolve the conference was proposed by the 1A schools in the league, which include Sultan, Granite Falls, Kings, Cedar Park Christian, and South Whidbey. They voiced a desire to compete against 1A level schools only. Archbishop Murphy High School (AMHS) and Cedarcrest are the only 2A schools in the league (Granite Falls recently appealed to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) and were re-classified as 1A due to declining enrollment).
We have been a part of the Cascade Conference since its inception in 2004. At a meeting in December the principals voted on the proposition to dissolve the league. The vote was 5 to dissolve the league and 2 to maintain the Cascade Conference. At that point Cedarcrest was tasked with finding a home for our athletic teams for next year. I should note that while all of this was happening, District 1, which we are a part of, came up with a plan which would allow schools to participate in a football division based on ability level. This could be re-adjusted annually and would allow schools to play teams that they are physically matched with.
The options for a new league were limited. The three leagues which we considered viable were the Northwest league, which extends from Snohomish County into Whatcom County, the KingCo which is in King County and the Wesco which is in King and Snohomish Counties.
Northwest League: We decided not to apply to the Northwest league, even though it is predominantly 2A schools, because of the travel time it would take to get to the schools. The trips would routinely result in our students getting home from games close to midnight after one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hour trips.
KingCo: This is a viable option for travel, however, the KingCo is primarily made up of 3A and 4A schools. There are only two 2A schools currently in the league. If we were to be accepted by the KingCo, they made it clear that we would have to play a KingCo football schedule, which is not ideal given the size of our school. Boys golf in the KingCo is played in the fall, instead of the spring, which would impact our boys who are playing fall sports (football, cross country) and are on the golf team. Another factor is that we could have to move to District 2, which is the district that the KingCo participates in, which would require us to travel south for district, regional and state playoffs, adding to the travel cost of the post season. We currently compete with District 1 teams for playoffs, teams which are in the above mentioned Northwest League.
Wesco: This was the first league the we applied to after the Cascade Conference dissolved, as they had an imminent deadline for new schools to apply. We were initially turned down by the Wesco, as was AMHS (who also was looking for a league to join). However, after AMHS appealed to the WIAA, they were approved to join the Wesco. This opened the door for the Wesco to revisit the decision made denying CHS a place in the Wesco and they have decided to allow us into the league beginning next year. The Wesco will have three 2A schools, including CHS, next year.
The Decision: We will be joining the Wesco. We believe that we have shown that we can compete with many of the 3A schools in the Wesco over the past few years. A review of travel times from CHS to schools in both the KingCo and Wesco indicates that travel will be similar, especially when traffic is considered. The Wesco will allow for us to participate in the Northwest football consortium of schools for football season, while the KingCo will require we play a KingCo football schedule. Boys golf will continue to be a spring sport in the Wesco.
Given travel times and the competitive level, we believe the Wesco will be the best fit for us at this time. We anticipate re-evaluating our league placement in two years, which is the time frame that Wesco has also indicated would be a good time to review this placement and if it is appropriate for both of our needs moving forward.
Ray La Bate, Principal
Cedarcrest High School
Jason Frederick, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director
Cedarcrest High School