[Article by contributing sports writer Rhett Workman, who also owns Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal]
Mount Si High School’s cheerleading squad won a pair of national titles back in February at the Universal Cheer Association’s National Championships in Florida, an accomplishment that was featured here in Living Snoqualmie. But a recent decision by Washington State’s High School sports governing body may prevent the Wildcats from defending those titles next year.
At its March 17th meeting, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s (WIAA) executive board, made up of high school sports administrators from around the state, voted to hold the 2019-20 Washington State High School Cheer Championships on February 8, 2020. This date conflicts with the national tournament, which is also scheduled the same weekend.
According to a copy of the board minutes obtained by Living Snoqualmie, the state cheerleading coaches’ association had requested that the WIAA move the championships up a week, to February 1st, to avoid conflicts for approximately 15 Washington State teams, including Mount Si, who compete at the national event.
The WIAA official responsible for cheer, Cindy Adsit, told the board that the state event date had changed in past years due to facility issues, as opposed to conflicts with the national tournament, and that since they have decided to hold the event for the forseeable future down at Battle Ground High School – where this year’s championships were held – the cheer season can now be set in accordance with the national high school sports calendar.
For Washington, that would mean the end of the cheer season would be on the end of national week #31, which February 8, 2020 is the Saturday of that week. According to the minutes, board members indicated a desire to maintain the national schedule and that it wasn’t appropriate to change the state championship date in order to accommodate the national tournament, which they deemed as an “outside” event. There was a motion made to change the date but it was voted down.
How this will impact Mount Si and other Washington schools participating in the national event is uncertain, and it’s also not clear if this could force UCA to change the national date in order to accommodate Washington participation, which has usually happened for teams winning the state championships in the various disciplines.
This decision was one of several newsworthy items that came out of this recent board meeting. Other items that came up for discussion that might impact Mount Si included a possible move of the state high school football championships out of the Tacoma Dome – potentially to an outdoor venue – and possible changes to the state high school basketball tournaments in the wake of revelations from WIAA staff that the tournaments made less money than anticipated for the organization and there was also a major drop in attendance at the regional round of games that take place prior to the actual state event in Tacoma. Both of those topics will be discussed in the coming months, with any possible changes for either or both sports not expected to be made until perhaps this summer.
As noted, the board is made up of administrators from around the state. Mount Si High School is not directly represented on the board. The members that represent Mount Si’s athletic district, the Sea-King, on the board are former Sammamish High School athletic director Pat McCarthy, who is now the athletic director for the Seattle School District, and Northshore School District administrator Chris Bigelow.