A couple days after the announcement of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) reclassification of state high schools for 2014-2016, there was still plenty of discussion around Mountlake Terrace High School and the school’s placement in the 3A classification.
The WIAA net enrollment figure for Mountlake Terrace came in at 957.5 students, below the organization’s minimum number of 990.0 students for 3A schools. But in an effort to even out the six state classifications, Mountlake Terrace was one of 19 schools to be moved up from 1A and 2A to the 3A classification, bringing the total number of 3A schools in the state to 65.
Mountlake Terrace would have qualified as a 2A school for sports competition beginning in the fall, but the WIAA moved the school up to the 3A division, said MTHS Athletic Director Kim Stewart. “It was said that we opted up to 3A, but that is definitely not true,” Stewart said. “I was at Country Village with my wife when I got the call from John Miller (WIAA Assistant Executive Director) telling me that we were in 3A.”
With 19 schools that have lower enrollment figures moving up to 3A, that gives the state’s two largest classification (4A and 3A) an equal number of 65 schools in each classification. The 2A and 1A classifications each have 64 schools, 2B is set at 59 schools, and 1B totals 63 schools (including Cedar Park Christian – Mountlake Terrace).
Stewart said that Mountlake Terrace was not given the option to stay with the new 2A classification, but was told the school would be placed in 3A. It’s a ruling that the school will not challenge; “Greg (Schwab, MTHS Principal) and I have always said that wherever we end up, that is where we’re going to stay,” Stewart explained.
The new classifications will give the Wesco League a new look beginning in the fall, as a few schools within the league have changed classifications. The Wesco 3A South Conference will consist of the current five schools in the division (Mountlake Terrace, Glacier Peak, Meadowdale, Shorewood and Shorecrest, which is becoming a 2A school) with the addition of Lynnwood and Edmonds-Woodway, two schools dropping from their current 4A status down to 3A.
The addition of the two Edmonds School District schools to the Wesco 3A South won’t affect sports scheduling too much, and will be beneficial to students and fans, said MTHS boys basketball Head Coach Nalin Sood. “This is a good thing. Ask anyone that played sports in the Edmonds School District for the past many, many years, those are our natural rivals,” he said.
“We have always worked to make sure we played them (Edmonds-Woodway and Lynnwood) non-league as they were both 4A and us 3A, as it was good for the communities and student athletes. To have us all in the same league now will continue that but make the stakes even higher.”
“Both schools have quality athletic programs and should make for some exciting and entertaining athletic events,” Sood added.
MTHS Head Football Coach Tony Umayam had the same response concerning scheduling in the new-look Wesco 3A South division. “Adding Edmonds-Woodway and Lynnwood doesn’t affect our schedule too much because we always play Lynnwood due to the rivalry, and most years we play Edmonds-Woodway because we are in the same school district,” he said.
While Mountlake Terrace will now fall at the smaller end of the 3A classification, some of their Wesco League opponents are at the other end of the scale. In fact, three of the five schools with the largest student enrollment in the 3A classification statewide are in the Wesco League (Marysville Getchell, Glacier Peak and Edmonds-Woodway).
You can see the entire listing of WIAA 2014-2016 Classification Enrollment Counts here.
— By Doug Petrowski