By BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review
BAINBRIDGE — The numbers have changed, and so has the recommendation from officials at Bainbridge High.
At a recent school board meeting, BHS Principal Jake Haley told the Bainbridge Island School Board that school officials who had studied the pending changes in league alignment from the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association felt that the Spartan athletic program should "opt up" to 3A status and move from the Metro League to the Olympic League.
Though Bainbridge High is currently a 3A school, the WIAA has assembled new classification numbers for high schools across the state, and will consider BHS as a 2A school in the coming school year.
Bainbridge, however, was looking at the choices of an "opt up" to 3A and staying in the Metro, where the Spartans would face familiar rivals such as Seattle Prep, Holy Names and others, or petition to join the Olympic League, made up of 2A and 3A schools on the Kitsap Peninsula.
Facing the prospect of fewer ferry rides to the mainland — and an extra 45 minutes of lost class time on average for student athletes on away-game days — BHS officials had recommended that the high school stay a 3A school but join the Olympic League.
New school classification numbers released from the WIAA on Friday have caused BHS officials to take another look at the Metro League.
In a memo sent Monday to the school board, Haley, the principal at BHS, said the new numbers show that two Olympic schools that had previously been at 3A — Bremerton and Port Angeles — would instead be rated as 2A schools.
"This change has significant implications for BHS," Haley wrote in his memo to the board. "If BHS were to join the Olympic League, it would now be the only 3A school; this would severely limit its post-season opportunities."
Haley and other BHS officials are now asking the school board to stick with the "opt up" scenario to 3A, but for the school to remain in the Metro League.
The school board has scheduled a special board meeting this week to make a decision on Bainbridge High's classification and league alignment.
The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 in the Commodore Commons.