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Davenport to appeal to WIAA

DAVENPORT — The School District joined 11 other school districts in making an appeal to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) last week, and it will be making a separate, independent appeal this Friday.

Davenport is appealing Friday, Dec. 22 to move down to the 1B level for athletics, either for football or all sports. The Gorillas are currently a 2B program in District 7’s NE2B league.

The school is joint appealing to either move down for all sports, or to just move down to 8-man football at a 1B level.

Low participation numbers prompted Davenport to play an independent 8-man football schedule in 2023.

It’s a proposed move that administration doesn’t prefer to make but feels obligated to due to a low number of possible athletes in the district.

“It would have been our preference that we stay 2B to honor our league,” superintendent Chad Prewitt said.

The school board members all expressed support of appealing to opt down Monday, Dec. 18.

Davenport’s enrollment numbers fall well within the 2B classification, but the school district is arguing that the number of available athletes is skewed by many students unable to participate in athletics for religious and other reasons.

“We would not be petitioning down if the numbers weren’t what they were,” athletic director Tim Rasmussen said.

The school’s other appeal follows similar reasoning.

Davenport joined Almira/Coulee-Hartline, Bridgeport, Liberty Bell, Lind-Ritzville, Manson, Northwest Christian, Saint George’s, Upper Columbia Academy, Waterville and Wilbur-Creston Districts in challenging the interpretation of the WIAA handbook regarding counting of alternative school students toward athletic classification numbers. That appeal was filed Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Presently, students that participate in sports at a school with athletics but attend alternative schools without sports programs are not counted toward the athletics-based school’s count for classification. Davenport administration is frustrated that these students aren’t counted, but their students unable to compete are counted.

Appealing schools argue that this leads to a skewed system that has allowed schools like Okanogan to dominate athletic numbers, while arguing that leads to a trickledown with alleged negative effects, such as Liberty Bell opting down for 8-man football.

Bell has won two consecutive state 1B football championships and is one of the appealing schools.

“The classification is broken. It has been for quite some time,” Wilbur-Creston athletic director Darin Reppe said. “The hope is that they take a look at some of these numbers.”

Author Bio

Drew Lawson, Editor

Author photo

Drew Lawson is the editor of the Davenport Times. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.


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