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Posts Tagged ‘Cascade Conference’

   Cedar Park Christian, one of Coupeville’s rivals in the new North Sound Conference, has a great logo, and a little football-related angina. (Logo property of CPC)

Shenanigans! Sorta.

Cedar Park Christian, which will soon be one of Coupeville’s rivals in the new 1A North Sound Conference, is in the news, and school officials probably aren’t too thrilled.

The Eagles football program is being (very lightly) rapped on the knuckles, and faces a “one-year probation” after schools in its former league, the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, raised a mini-ruckus over how the CPC junior football program was marketed.

Why the quote marks around that probation? Because, as Cameron Van Til reported Tuesday in the Everett Herald, there will be “no impact on practices, games or postseason.”

Which leaves unclear what exactly the punishment might be.

Perhaps an assistant coach has to go sit in the corner for a few hours? Someone is getting a “Wet Willie?”

Color me confused.

Anyways, the violation in question was raised by Cascade Conference Athletic Directors at a meeting in late May, and CPC self-reported itself the next day.

From the outside, it seems like a fairly minor matter, though anything involving CPC football is quick to draw attention since the Eagles hired former Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff before the 2017 season.

He won 11 class 3A state football titles at his former school, but was bounced from his position in 2016 after Bellevue was hit with charges of multiple violations of state rules.

Goncharoff went 4-6 in his first season at CPC.

So, what set off rival AD’s?

Marketing materials for the CPC junior football program, which is open to athletes from inside and outside the school, pushed the idea of it being a “K-12 program” in brochures, fliers and videos.

The brochures also included a photo of Goncharoff, while a video featured a middle school or high school-aged player.

The junior football program and the high school football program both fall under the guidance of the Cedar Park Church, but the two programs are supposed to operate separately.

Since CPC is a private school, it, like fellow league mate King’s, can accept athletes from outside its boundaries, something public schools Coupeville, Granite Falls, South Whidbey and Sultan can not.

The ability to recruit, or “offer scholarships,” or however private schools want to sugar-coat it, is a particular sticking point in the ongoing back-and-forth that keeps Washington state high school coaches, athletes and fans arguing.

And it could all be solved by splitting things up, with separate state championships for public and private schools, since they operate under separate guidelines.

Boom, you’re welcome.

Anyways…

There’s a very valid worry among many that private schools use youth programs to bring in athletes, then recruit them to stay with the school once they reach high school.

While CPC officials blame the marketing snafu on “new leadership in the junior football program” who were “gung-ho to build the program,” other AD’s preach caution.

“You’ve got to make sure that there’s a clear line (between the high school and junior programs),” Sultan AD/North Sound Conference President Scott Sifferman was quoted saying in the Herald.

“And the way that it was marketed, it really emphasized (it being) one program,” he added. “When you’re a private school and your boundaries extend beyond normal school districts, you can understand that there’s going to be concerns if something like that comes to light.”

CPC officials told the Herald the junior program has altered its marketing, and all future promotional material will be run past the high school’s athletic department before it hits the streets.

While the other four schools in the North Sound Conference are old-school rivals for Coupeville, the Wolves have never faced CPC.

The Eagles replaced Coupeville in the Cascade Conference in 2014, when CHS bounced to the Olympic League.

The two schools face off on the gridiron for the first time Oct. 19 at Juanita High School.

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   After this season, South Whidbey’s athletes will no longer call the 1A/2A Cascade Conference home. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And it’s gone.

Coupeville’s old stomping grounds, the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, is no more.

The league, fractured by defections and forfeits, will cease to be at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

In its place, the league’s (soon to be) five 1A schools are striking out on their own and forming the North Sound Conference, which begins play in fall 2018.

South Whidbey, King’s, Cedar Park Christian, Sultan and Granite Falls, which is dropping from 2A back to 1A next year, will form the new league.

Cedarcrest and Archbishop Thomas Murphy, which were the only remaining 2A schools in the Cascade Conference after Lakewood bailed, are now free agents seeking new homes.

Four years ago, the Cascade Conference was an eight-team league.

After Coupeville left to join the newly-formed 1A Olympic League, Cedar Park Christian took its slot.

Things began to fracture shortly after, though, with every league team except King’s refusing to face ATM on the football field, which generated national media attention.

When a “super” league, which would have combined the Cascade Conference, Wesco South and the Northwest Conference for football only, fell through, Lakewood took all of its programs and bounced to the 1A/2A/3A NWC.

This past season, league schools returned to playing ATM in football, with the exception of South Whidbey.

Trying to rebuild their gridiron program, the Falcons asked for permission to play a non-conference schedule against smaller schools.

After losing to fellow 1A schools Coupeville and Chimacum to open the 2017 football season, South Whidbey won seven straight games against B schools and a Canadian program new to football.

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   South Whidbey’s Callahan Yale (far left) poses as a Wolf, momentarily giving Coupeville four cross country runners. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

After training and traveling with their compatriots from South Whidbey all season, Coupeville High School’s trio of cross country runners will split off and go their own way for the postseason.

That new route starts in Sequim Oct. 19, when the Wolves compete at the Olympic League Championships.

After that, if they qualify, districts and state beckon for Danny Conlisk, Henry Wynn and Sam Wynn.

But, before the split, Coupeville’s trio ran one more race alongside the Falcons Wednesday, competing at a Cascade Conference meet in Shoreline.

2A Cedarcrest, led by meet winner Grant Van Valkenburg, coasted in for the team victory, easily outdistancing South Whidbey and King’s.

Since Coupeville doesn’t have a full seven-man team, the Wolves had no chance to snag team honors, but Conlisk did finish 14th out of 57 runners, covering the 4,000 meter course in 13 minutes, 54.16 seconds.

Henry Wynn claimed 30th (15:16.86) while Sam Wynn hit the tape in 42nd (16:30.26).

With the postseason starting, South Whidbey hits the trail with other schools from the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, while the Wolves reunite with 1A Olympic League mates Port Townsend, Chimacum and Klahowya.

The league’s seven 2A schools, and wild card 1B Clallam Bay, will also compete at the OLC, which is set for The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course.

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   Danny Conlisk finished 9th out of 105 runners Thursday at a cross country meet at South Whidbey High School. (Photo courtesy Dawnelle Conlisk)

Danny Conlisk wins Whidbey honors.

Competing at an eight-team cross country meet at South Whidbey High School Thursday, the Coupeville junior finished 9th out of 105 runners.

Making his top 10 finish even better was he edged out every one of his Falcon training partners, out-leaning South Whidbey’s Michael Cepowski at the line.

Conlisk finished the 5,000 meter course in 18 minutes, 18.94 seconds, while Cepowski ran his home course in 18:19.79.

Cedarcrest’s Grant Van Valkenburg won the race in 16:57.03, spurring the Red Wolves to a team win.

The seven schools from the 1A/2A Cascade Conference were in attendance, while Coupeville’s mini three-man crew also took part.

CHS doesn’t have an active harrier program of its own, so Conlisk and brothers Henry and Sam Wynn train and travel with South Whidbey, but compete in the red and black uniforms of their own school.

Henry Wynn, a senior, finished 38th Thursday, clocking in at 20:13.59, while Sam, a freshman, claimed 74th in 22:16.56.

The Wolf trio are back at it Saturday, when they travel to Lakewood for the Nike Hole in the Wall Invitational.

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   Coupeville vs. South Whidbey. Choose the right path, Falcons, and this could be a regular occurrence. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Boom goes the dynamite, indeed.

The 1A/2A Cascade Conference, Coupeville’s old home, is no longer dying, it’s 99.2% dead.

First, everyone refused to play ATM in football.

Then Lakewood pulled up stakes in the middle of the night and fled to the Northwest Conference.

Finally, South Whidbey asked for, and was given approval, to play football as an independent for an undetermined time in an attempt to rebuild its fractured program.

All of that mere cracks in the crust, leading up to the earthquake which erupted Thursday, when news surfaced that King’s and Cedar Park Christian applied to transfer to the Emerald City League.

What was an eight-team league, with four 1A schools and four 2A ones, is one small AD vote from being a five-team league, with just two 1A schools in South Whidbey and Sultan.

One of whom doesn’t play football against league foes.

If King’s and CPC bolt, the Cascade Conference likely splinters for good, something the league’s president, Jason Frederick, acknowledged in an interview with The South Whidbey Record.

From the outside, I see this as a huge positive, not a negative.

The Cascade Conference was always an unwieldy Frankenstein mish-mash.

You had small, rural 1A schools (Coupeville, South Whidbey, Sultan) trying to compete with ginormous 2A schools like Cedarcrest and private schools (ATM, King’s and, recently, CPC) who are allowed to operate under a different set of rules.

Private, religious-orientated King’s and CPC joining the high-end Emerald City League, which currently houses nine Seattle schools which are all, wait for it, private and religious-orientated, is tailor-made.

And the likely collapse of the Cascade Conference gives South Whidbey AD Paul Lagerstedt a perfect opportunity to do what former Coupeville AD Lori Stolee did four years ago — rewrite their school’s destiny.

I’ve said it before and I will say it a million more times (I’m obnoxious like that). The Falcons need to fly the coop and come home.

Mr. Lagerstedt,

Join Coupeville in the Olympic League starting next year and be the AD who made South Whidbey relevant again.

If the Cascade Conference doesn’t die today, it will die tomorrow. You know that deep down in your soul.

There’s a slim chance you could try to join the jump to the ECL, but that makes such little sense I’m not going to even entertain the notion.

I’ll just be back here rolling my eyes until they disappear into the back of my skull.

What you want is a stable league, one which offers SWHS a fighting chance in every sport. An opportunity to be the big dog in some and scrap in the rest. To play other similarly-sized PUBLIC schools.

The Olympic League is what you want. The Olympic League is what you need.

Heck, bring Sultan along if you like. Pounding on the Turks is always a good time.

Do it for a better playing field. Or just do it for the money.

You reinstate your greatest rivalry — Coupeville vs. South Whidbey, Cow Town vs. Hippie Land, Wolves vs. Falcons — in a meaningful fashion, with two 1A schools which sit just 25 miles apart fighting for league supremacy, you make the cash registers ring.

Rivalry games bring in the biggest bucks, and I absolutely guarantee you more cash hits ticket-taker hand for Wolves vs. Falcons than any random game you play against Granite Falls or some obscure Canadian team.

If we’re back in the same league, that’s 10 gates for the sports which charge (the annual football clash and likely three contests apiece in girls basketball, volleyball and boys basketball.)

What do you want? Four paying customers traveling here from the wilds of Granite Falls or a steady stream of cars surging up (or down) the Island?

Heck, you’ll get more fans from Port Townsend and Chimacum (whose fans travel well, and are closer) than you will from schools in Seattle and Everett.

A renewed rivalry, with more at stake. Increased money. And topping it all off? A chance to compete for league titles.

Face it, you have not been putting up championship banners in the Cascade Conference, any more than Coupeville did when we were in the same boat.

Join the Olympic League and you’ll be the second-biggest school (after Klahowya) in terms of student body size. That’s a huge boon.

And, by removing ATM and King’s, you instantly put your good programs back in the title picture and you give your weaker sports a fighting chance to rebuild.

Winning titles is huge.

Having a realistic shot, where every day every one of your programs feels genuinely competitive, is even bigger.

Now, you are guaranteed nothing.

Coupeville and Klahowya are not going to surrender without a fight (good luck trying to dethrone the state title-winning Eagle soccer dynasty), nor will Chimacum softball or Port Townsend track and field, for that matter.

But you instantly go from a constant battle for third-place to a constant battle for first-place, which builds morale, which builds numbers, which circles back around and builds pride.

You think you’re hot stuff?

Good, come prove it against schools similar in size and mentality, and stop bashing your brains out while the private schools play (legally) by their own rules.

And yes, I hear some trepidation about having to catch the Coupeville to Port Townsend ferry if you join the Olympic League.

Small potatoes.

When Coupeville catches the Clinton ferry and travels to Silverdale to play Klahowya (comparable to South Whidbey hopping over to PT or Chimacum), game times are adjusted and varsity often plays before JV.

Small ways to work around the fact we all LIVE ON AN ISLAND in the first place.

You need us. We need you.

It makes sense in every way possible.

So be brave. Be forward-thinking. Be the AD who makes South Whidbey High School sports relevant again.

We’re waiting for you (with a can of whup-ass at the ready),

Your Coupeville friends

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