Marysville Getchell sports to launch in 2011

It's official. Marysville Getchell will begin offering varsity athletics in the 2011-12 school year.

With the option of launching Charger athletics — the mascot of the new high school, slated to open in September 2010 — in 2010, 2011 or 2012, the Marysville School Board voted 3-1 to select the compromise option.

"I believe those who favored (a start in) 2010 wanted more opportunities for students to be involved in activities and sports," said school district superintendent Larry Nyland, adding that supporters of a 2012 start hoped to save money in athletics. The board's choice, he said, "doesn't disenfranchise seniors. It allows them to play out at Pilchuck. It gives juniors the decision whether to stick with a smaller learning community."

In addition, although the Getchell campus is projected to open for the first day of school in 2010, it is still unclear whether the athletic fields would be practice- and competition-ready.

When Marysville Getchell opens, the Pathways of Choice community for general studies will remain at Marysville-Pilchuck, while the other four communities — Academy of Construction and Engineering, the Bio-Med Academy, the International School of Communication and the School for the Entrepreneur — will move to the new campus.

One obstacle the district hopes to overcome fairly easily is joining the Wesco league and Washington Interscholastic Activities Association in the middle of a two-year cycle.

"The next step is that we'll notify the league and we'll formally apply to be a member of the Wesco athletic conference," said district athletic director Greg Erickson. "And if they accept our membership, which I think they will, it will be the challenge of the league to insert into the cycle Marysville Getchell."

Erickson added that he anticipates Getchell joining the league as a 3A school, a classification based on school size and one rank down from Marysville-Pilchuck and most of the schools in Wesco North. Marysville-Pilchuck, which would likely have an even smaller enrollment, would continue to compete at 4A until the next biennial cycle begins and the school could be reclassified.

Erickson said he hopes to have fall coaches identified for Marysville Getchell by late 2010 or early 2011.

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