Major changes for KingCo teams in 2008-2009

The sports landscape will be very different next year for Mercer Island High School.

  • Monday, November 24, 2008 8:11pm
  • Sports

The sports landscape will be very different next year for Mercer Island High School.

Principals in all of the KingCo schools unanimously approved a combined-classification conference alignment on Thursday to combat the ever-changing enrollments of the schools.

“This new alignment will cut down on transportation costs and will give us more of an opportunity to play against bigger schools,” said Mercer Island Athletic Director Craig Olson. “We will have another meeting on January 28 to further discuss fall schedules and playoff formats.”

The new alignment will be like no other in the state and will divide MIHS competition by team or individual sports and placing them in two different leagues.

The change was made following months of deliberation by administrators.

Issaquah, Newport and Skyline had significant increases in enrollment, leading them to move up to the state’s 4A classification. Conversely, Interlake is moving to class 2A and Juanita up to 3A. The loss of three schools would have left 3A KingCo, the Islanders’ conference, with only six schools (Mercer Island, Bellevue, Juanita, Liberty, Sammamish and Mount Si) and overloaded the 4A division.

The new alignment makes the leagues different for different sports based on overall team and individual competition. Team sports: football, basketball, baseball, fast-pitch softball, soccer and volleyball will compete within the new 3A/2A division, including Bellevue, Juanita, Interlake, Sammamish, Liberty and Mount Si.

More individualized sports such as cross country, swimming, track and field, wrestling, golf, tennis and gymnastics will compete in the more geographically divided Crown West division, comprised of Ballard, Bellevue and Roosevelt. Both the team and more individualized sports will still maintain team titles for regular season play.

Mercer Island will lose some in-league rivalries such as wrestling against Issaquah and volleyball against Newport. The teams will get a chance to meet during the regular season at non-league games and gain more competition against 4A level schools.

Conversely, some old rivalries will be rekindled.

“Juanita and Mercer Island in boys basketball used to be the hottest ticket in town,” said Olson.

The Jan. 28 meeting will be held to discuss many different issues. First and foremost will be fall schedules and playoff formats for those sports.

“We already have schools from outside that are wanting to get on our schedule, asking how it will affect non-league games,” said Olson.

Another issue that will be discussed is the possible addition of the sport of girls lacrosse into the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

“Many schools want to add girls lacrosse for compliance with Title IX,” said Olson.

Boys lacrosse, boys water polo and girls water polo have also been discussed as new additions to the state-supported WIAA, to transition from being parent and community-supported club sports.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

t
Captain Newcomer looking to keep her team energized this season

MIHS junior is also a member of the Trivia Club and Marvel Club.

Courtesy photo
Left to right: Lenny Zilz, Eric Dorre, Chuck Robinson.
3 Mercer Island masters swimmers net nationally ranked times in meet

6 a.m. swim practices, four times a week. This is the normal… Continue reading

t
Clark is ready to lead the Islanders back onto the court

He is the team’s third-year starting varsity point guard.

t
Islander volleyball just misses state spot

Mercer Island’s volleyball squad went 1-2 in the 3A District 2 tournament… Continue reading

t
Hoopsters display their skills at tournament

After a two-year break due to COVID-19, the Mercer Island Boys &… Continue reading

t
Islander volleyball still vying for state spot

Mercer Island’s volleyball squad went 1-1 in the opening rounds of the… Continue reading

t
Mercer Island High School 2021-22 winter varsity sports schedules

BOYS BASKETBALL Nov. 29 NEWPORT, SHORECREST and JUANITA (jamboree), 7:10 p.m. Dec.… Continue reading

t
MIHS boys take ninth at state cross country meet

Mercer Island’s boys cross country squad placed ninth at the 3A state… Continue reading

t
Islander swimmer Whelan thrives in the sprint races

Staying pumped and positive makes a difference, she says.

t
MIHS girls swim and dive squad wins 3A KingCo title

Islanders take second at districts; state is next.

t
Islanders beat Newport on the gridiron

Eli Fahey threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers in Mercer… Continue reading