FWay schools will have new rivals in 2006


The Mirror

The new look the South Puget Sound League will undertake next school year is starting to get a little clearer — maybe.

White River and Franklin Pierce high schools received invitations to join the Class 3A division of the SPSL in the fall, while Gig Harbor’s Peninsula High School was told thanks, but no thanks. Principals of the current members of the SPSL voted Monday to invite the two schools, which have until Nov. 15 to make an official commitment. The additions of White River and Franklin Pierce would bring the SPSL’s total to 24 schools — by far the largest in the state — and split the league into three, eight-team divisions.

White River, located in Buckley, and Parkland’s Franklin Pierce will join the new Class 3A division of the SPSL along with Decatur, Federal Way, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw and, most likely, Todd Beamer for the 2006-07 sports seasons. Thomas Jefferson will remain a Class 4A school and remain in the current SPSL South with Bethel, Spanaway Lake, Puyallup, Rogers, Emerald Ridge, Curtis and Graham-Kapowsin High School.

But there are still some questions that need to be answered in the Federal Way school district before things are finalized. Most notably, if Beamer’s enrollment numbers will allow the school to even be considered 3A. Last spring, Beamer clearly seemed headed for 3A status under the WIAA’s new reclassification rules — estimated to be about 1,300. But the school is growing faster than expected. Last month, Beamer had 1,334 students in the grades 10 through 12, which could mean the Titans might remain in the Class 4A SPSL South Division.

The new WIAA reclassification amendment, which passed last spring, sets the Class 4A cutoff number at a little over 1,300 students in grades 10 through 12. Decatur and Federal Way sit in the 1,200 student range, while Jefferson is well above the cutoff with over 1,450 students. Final enrollment numbers for the 2006-07 school year are due to the WIAA in December.

“Beamer is right at the bubble,” said Federal Way principal Randy Kaczor. “So they might go 4A and that

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