The Triangle League includes the three Snoqualmie Valley middle schools, along with Riverview’s Tolt Middle School and Mercer Island’s Islander Middle School.
The topic was raised earlier this spring by athletic directors as Tolt Middle School announced it was dropping their football program due to lack of interest. Islander Middle School does not have a football program
The decision was based on 1) Participation: student interest in middle school football has been decreasing, leading to one school dropping football because they do not have enough participants to field a team; 2) Financial: football is costly compared to other sports. There was concern that the athletic fee increase next year (from $125 to $140 for middle school football) may further decrease participation; 3) Community Youth Football option: middle school students wanting to play football have an alternative local option. The Wildcat Junior Football program, a community-based youth association, has growing success in the Snoqualmie Valley for boys ages 8-14.
Athletic Directors spoke to other school districts with middle school football programs whom might want to compete. The distance of two interested districts, Sultan and King, would increase travel costs and time. The neighboring school districts of Issaquah, Lake Washington, Bellevue, Tahoma and Northshore no longer offer middle school football. SVSD middle schools also surveyed current 6th and 7th grade boys about their interest in football or soccer as a fall school sport next year. Results showed 45% more were interested in soccer.
For a decision of this type and according to the Triangle League Standard Operating Procedures, “Athletic Directors and/or their designee representing their school will be the primary decision-making body. The decision will be made by majority vote.” The final decision was a majority vote (3-1) in favor of offering SVSD boys soccer next fall in lieu of football.