Saturday, September 01, 2007

No Metro Yet for Seattle High Schools

This article appeared in today's PI. The principals have tabled the idea of SPS joining Metro until 2010. I get the reasoning which includes:

  • "Specialization remains all the rage these days in the city, and Garfield and Franklin are considered basketball schools."
  • "An obstacle to reverting to one huge Metro League remains open enrollment, which has been tilting football participation levels across the city. With recently remodeled schools, interest is up at Roosevelt, which has 106 players turning out, and remains steady at Ballard, where 81 are in uniform. Garfield, undergoing a building renovation, has just 45 players."
But on the other side:
  • "In the suburbs, schools such as Eastlake and Bothell have extensive youth and junior high feeder programs, creating interest and building skills. City teams have no such help."
  • "Yet dynamic coaches like him can't be expected to stick around long, forever battling inequities."
  • "They call a trip to the suburbs "Going over the Bridge," which has meant repeatedly traveling to a football execution, if not public humiliation."
  • "While the competitor in him says stay and play against the best, Bailey sees advantages in facing only teams from the current 3A Metro League. Familiarity might breed more inner-city football interest, something everyone desperately needs.

    "The only reason I like it is I grew up in Seattle and we always wanted to play O'Dea, Rainier Beach, West Seattle and Cleveland," he said. "Those are kids you grew up with. When you go across the bridge, those kids don't know us and we don't know them. It's hard to get the parents to go to those games." "

And something in-between:

  • "The idea was tabled until 2010, the principals citing enrollment disparities -- 1,600 to 400 -- and concerns about the athletes' safety when a big school plays a small one.

    Coaches and players at Seattle schools rolled their eyes at this decision. How could it be any different or safer than what takes place now? Consider how Bailey was hired as the Franklin coach three and a half seasons ago.

    "We were playing at Lake Washington and we were down 42-0, with four minutes to go," he recalled. "I happened to be at the game. The athletic director at the time asked if I could do something." "

I remember being in high school (seems like a century ago) and being a cheerleader. We were a small school in a big league and got creamed...repeatedly...for years. It was demoralizing for everyone. Then they revamped the leagues and hey, we were in a league with more even-sized schools. Now there was fair competition (and we did win state in basketball one year). Maybe a new assignment plan will level the numbers of students at each school and make this more of a possibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was the right call.

I am sorry, but making a decision to bring back the 4A schools was only for the benifit of four of the ten schools, and really only for one sport for three schools (football) made no sense.

Franklin has dropped in size, and is likely to go 3A and return to the Metro Leagure anyway, and last I checked Ballard is doing just fine against the 4A suburban schools. If Garfield, Roosevelt, and Franklin are having that tough of a time, they can always choose to play in an indenpedent league for sport like football.

On the other hand, if the four came back to the Merto league, the small schools (Sealth, Cleveland, Beach) would have NO chance, and it would deprive the big schools from having JV and C squads.