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Puyallup Athletes Face New Opponents in SPSL
Puyallup Athletes Face New Opponents in SPSL
Posted on 10/03/2016

Student athletes in the Puyallup School District have seen a change in competition after changes were made to the South Puget Sound 4A League (SPSL 4A) lineup.

In the 2015-2016 school year the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) re-evaluated the classifications of all Washington state high school teams. WIAA classifies each school by enrollment counts given by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Classification is based on student body enrollment in the upper three grades (10–12) and used by the WIAA to maintain fair and equal competition between its member high schools. The organization places member schools into one of six tiered classifications based on enrollment ranges: 1B, 2B, 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A. The enrollment ranges are evaluated by the WIAA Executive Board biennially and finalized for a four-year period.

Last year Bethel and Spanaway High Schools were reclassified from 4A to 3A, which removed both schools from the South Puget Sound 4A League. Sumner High School was reclassified from 3A to a 4A classification and joined the SPSL 4A.

Three schools that were a previous part of the Narrows League joined SPSL 4A in the 2016-2017 year, the 4A Narrows League was dissolved after several teams joined the North Puget Sound League (NPSL). Needing a league to join, Bellarmine, South Kitsap, and Olympia High Schools petitioned to become part of SPSL 4A and were added on this school year.

There are now nine schools in SPSL:
Bellarmine High School
Curtis High School
Emerald Ridge High School
Graham-Kapowisin High School
Olympia High School
Puyallup High School
Rogers High School
South Kitsap High School
Sumner High School

Director of Athletics, Rick Wells, stated, “The new nine team SPSL make up one of the most competitive leagues in the state. One might easily argue that we ARE the state tournament in many programs.”

From 2000 to 2016 teams in SPSL 4A have either been runner up, or won, 84 state titles. This is a very competitive league, which has many in SPSL calling it the “League of Champions.”

WIAA reclassifications previously took place every two years. After reconsideration, WIAA decided to reclassify high school teams every four years to make planning easier on the schools.

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Devin Konsmo