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Arlington Set to Rejoin Lake Stevens in Reconfigured Wesco 4A Next Fall
Some polls say that the Vikings and Eagles are the top football teams in the state regardless of classification. Next year they’ll face off in league play, where they’ll share a division.
LAKE STEVENS — According to MaxPreps’ latest computer rankings, 4A Lake Stevens (10-1) and 3A Arlington (11-0) are the top two football teams in the state, regardless of classification.
Next year the Vikings and the Eagles will compete in the same Wesco league — and perhaps Arlington — the last Snohomish County team to beat Lake Stevens — will give the Vikings’ 57 game and 13 year conference winning streaks a test.
But the Eagles aren’t the only local school to join a refigured Wesco 4A in 2024.
In fact, Arlington, Cascade, Mount Vernon and likely Monroe will reclassify as 4A and rejoin a reformed Wesco Conference at the start of next school year, according to Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) enrollment documents and WIAA reclassification plans reviewed by J425.
Final enrollment numbers released in January 2024 will lock in the figures by which WIAA will sort schools into divisions.
And thanks to a new bylaw passed by the WIAA in April, the threshold for joining 4A — the state’s top classification — has been lowered from 1,300 to 1,225. The lower floor for joining 4A in as established to rebalance an overloaded 3A more evenly with 4A.
Lake Stevens, locked in a battle with Mariner and Pasco’s Chiawana for the biggest high school (enrollment-wise) in the state, has no doubt where they’ll be sorted both now and in the future.
For schools like Cascade, Arlington and Mount Vernon though both of whom could’ve gone either way at the last reclassification four years, the latest change puts them firmly into the 4A class.
For Monroe, whose monthly enrollment figures currently (barely) exceed the 1,225 floor, it’s likely going to be touch and go until January figures are published.
With as many as four new area teams seeking 4A competition, Wesco is likely to re-adopt the old North/South divisions. One possible outcome could see Lake Stevens, Arlington, Monroe, Glacier Peak & Mount Vernon in the Wesco North with Jackson, Cascade, Mariner, Kamiak (plus an additional reclassified south county Wesco 3A school) in the South.
Final enrollment figures will be released in January. J425 will keep you posted.