After much discussion, deliberation and delay, Quincy High School and district administrators have announced plans to join Cashmere, Cascade, Chelan and Omak in the Caribou Trail League (CTL) for the next four years.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is currently in the process of reclassifying schools across the state for the 2020-2024 academic years. Currently, Quincy high school athletics compete under the 2A classification in the Central Washington Athletic Conference (CWAC).

With the announcement to join the CTL, the Jacks will be competing in the 1A classification. Prior to joining the CWAC in the fall of the 2014-2015 academic year, Quincy competed in the CTL, where the boys soccer team won the school’s most recent state championship in the spring of 2014.

“The Quincy School District and Quincy High School is excited for the new opportunities the Caribou Trail League will bring to our student athletes and community,” the district stated in a release.

The opportunity for the Jacks to return to the CTL was made possible by a WIAA amendment changing school enrollment numbers, which the entity uses to determine a school’s classification. The amendment considers free and reduced lunch data from each school and adjusts the schools enrollment compared to the state-wide average of students receiving free or reduced lunch.

For the current academic school year, Quincy has an average enrollment of 599 students in grades 9-11, placing them firmly in the 2A class. Quincy adjusted enrollment comes in just over 419; 30 students short of the 449 student limit for 1A classification. For classification purposes, the WIAA does not count graduating seniors in enrollment data.

The WIAA originally was scheduled to release the adjusted enrollments of all schools in late November, but were delayed. Athletic Director Brett Fancher and the rest of his colleagues across the state finally received the data on Jan. 7, confirming what Fancher had already suspected, that Quincy would be classified as a 1A school.

If they chose to do so, Quincy had an option to remain in the 2A CWAC if they elected to “opt-up.” That decision needed to be made by Jan. 10, but was later pushed back to Jan. 15, because of the delayed release of adjusted enrollment data.

The decision came after several meetings with coaches, athletes, administrators and the community. After the last meeting with the public, held on Jan. 9 in the high school commons, District Superintendent John Boyd felt the public was overwhelmingly supportive of making the move to the 1A level.

Fancher, who led the meeting on Jan. 9, surveyed those in attendance, asking them to prioritize the most important aspects of both the CWAC and CTL. A vast majority of those surveyed identified the level of competition and sub-varsity opportunities as the most important factors to consider.

Many in the room felt that Quincy could be more competitive against 1A teams in the area compared to the 2A competition they currently face. Some expressed concern over opportunities for junior varsity and C-team, because smaller 1A schools often don’t have enough players turn out to fill three full rosters.

“The opportunity for kids to play are out there,” Fancher said, explaining that junior varsity and C-team players could find matchups outside of the league.

By Miles King, sports@qvpr.com

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