King’s to leave Cascade Conference, join new league

North Sound Conference includes five 1A schools
By David Pan | Nov 30, 2017

King’s High School is leaving the combined 1A/2A Cascade Conference to form a new league composed of the 1A schools from the Cascade Conference.

King’s, along with South Whidbey, Cedar Park Christian – Bothell, Sultan and Granite Falls, are coming together to form the North Sound Conference.

The new league will start in the fall of 2018. Granite Falls, currently a 2A school, will be dropping down a classification.

King’s athletic director Rick Skeen said that each of the 1A Cascade Conference schools considered what was best for each school.

“At the end of the day, we came together and decided for the five of us playing schools of the same size was important,” Skeen said.

The disparity in numbers between some of the smaller 1A schools and their current 2A counterparts was significant.

Cedarcrest, one of two 2A schools in the Cascade Conference, reported 716 students in the WIAA’s most recent classification enrollment data for 2016-2020. The other 2A school, Archbishop Murphy, had 403.63 and opted up a classification.

Cedar Park Christian – Bothell’s numbers were 249.38 and Sultan was 347.13. King’s reported 354.38.

“We had schools in our league that were two or three times as big and that’s a pretty big disparity in the number of kids to choose from,” Skeen said. “We’re a bigger 1A school. Cedarcrest is twice the size we are, even as a big 1A. … I think that just playing schools of the same size was important.”

The WIAA’s enrollment ranges for the 1A classification are 214.50 to 461.24 and for the 2A classification are 461-971.71.

King’s previously had applied to join the Emerald City League, but the application was turned down about seven weeks ago.

King’s began discussions with the other 1A Cascade Conference schools after the school’s application was denied, Skeen said.

The Emerald City League includes nine independent private schools in the Seattle area. The schools were smaller than King’s. The largest were Seattle Academy (323) and Forest Ridge (263.38) and the smallest were Eastside Prep (143.38) and Seattle Christian (171.75). Annie Wright, an all-girls school, had 264.

Skeen said that the Emerald City vote was 5 to 4 against accepting King’s.

As for where Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest will end up, Skeen noted that the deadlines for applying to different conferences are approaching.

“We’ll probably know more in the next few weeks,” Skeen said.

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