Newport opts to stay in Class 4A | Prep sports news

Newport will remain in Class 4A through the 2015-16 school year, after choosing to opt-up rather than participate in Class 3A for the next two years.

Athletic director Gil James said initial numbers indicated the Knights would not have a chance to drop to Class 3A, but after the dust settled around other opt-ups around the state, the opportunity was presented.

"We were close to the bubble," James said. "Enough schools opted up to push us down."

But after speaking with his coaches, surveying the landscape of the potential league alignments and playoff berths, the Knights decided to stay put.

"We saw more depth in the 4A league and greater numbers, which brings greater playoff opportunities," he said.

Newport has bounced between 4A and 3A in the past decade, playing 3A sports as recently as 2007.

The Knights have enjoyed plenty of success in team and individual sports regardless of competition n recent years.

The girls swim and dive team owns back-to-back team crowns, and the football team made the state tournament each of the past two years. Baseball, traditionally one of the school's strongest programs, owns state titles in both classifications.

James said there was little dissension in the meeting or about the choice to opt-up, and even coaches with a vested stake in moving down, "Saw the bigger picture."

"When we left, we were united," he said.

Bellevue and Interlake will remain classified as 3A schools, with Sammamish staying in Class 2A.

4A KingCo will have a different look next year, as Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield dropped to Class 3A and joined the Metro League.

The WIAA will finalize the numbers and classifications Jan. 27.

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