NASELLE — Naselle athletic director Russ Hickman held an informational meeting Sept. 30 about the upcoming decision schools will have to make concerning what classification their athletic teams will participate in for the following three school years.

Currently Naselle enrollment is at the 1B level, but for the past three school years, including the 2013-14 term, the sports teams have “opted up” and played at the 2B level. Advantages and disadvantages to participate at both classifications were discussed at the meeting. Questions and opinions from the audience were also received. Naselle’s enrollment will again likely be at the 1B level.

The timeline from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association is to receive preliminary enrollment counts by Oct. 7, send a letter to the WIAA about the possibility of opting up to a higher classification by Nov. 8. The final count of all high schools in the state will be concluded by Nov. 22.

The last three months of last school year and the first two months of this school term are used to get a count for each of the nearly 400 school districts in Washington. The public and private schools are then divided into six classifications from 1B to 4A, with about 65 schools in each classification.

The key date will be Jan. 7, 2014, when each school district must make a decision as to whether they will participate in the classification that fits their enrollment or to opt up to a higher classification. Some 1B schools such as Seton Catholic and King’s Way Christian of Vancouver, for example, opted up two classifications from 1B to 1A in order to be able to participate in soccer.

The WIAA’s official classification of member schools for the next three school years will likely be released by mid-January. At that time leagues around the state will determine realignment for the 2014-15 seasons and beyond.

Change likely for Ocean Beach

The Ocean Beach School District’s Ilwaco Middle and High Schools are quite likely to drop to the 2B level, according to preliminary enrollment estimates. The top three grades at IHS averaged about 200 students the final three months last spring and enrollment this year is up close to 220. That will average out to about 210 students or less and the expected division from 1A to 2B could be as high as 240 students.

Will the Pacific County loop of the 1940s through the 1960s again be a reality with Naselle and Ilwaco competing against the likes of Raymond, Valley, South Bend, Ocosta and Cathlamet or will the Comets be 1B and the Fishermen continue at the 1A level? Only time will tell as the question, “2B or not 2B” looms for both school districts and their athletes.

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