AMHS News Today
Archbishop Murphy High School Joins Wesco
It is with great excitement that we announce AMHS will join the Western High School Athletic Conference (Wesco) beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. AMHS first approached the Wesco conference for membership in December 2015 but entry was denied at that time. With the decision of the schools in the Cascade Conference to dissolve the league, AMHS again approached the Wesco conference for membership in December 2017. While our application was denied, AMHS was allowed to appeal the decision to the District 1 board of the WIAA on January 8, 2018. The board requested AMHS return to the Wesco leadership and on January 19, AMHS presented additional terms for membership. This request was denied again, resulting in our appeal to the WIAA district board on Sunday, January 28. Many thanks to everyone who helped lead this presentation and negotiation including Alex Crane, Jerry Jensen, Jana Zitnik, Millie Judge and Tom McDonough.
AMHS reviewed school policies and processes and presented the rationale for membership in the Wesco conference. Our key area of focus included the geographic location of Wesco schools relative to AMHS, our priority of minimizing disruption to class time for our student-athletes, and a community experience for our students and families in the areas in which most of our families reside. The WIAA met with representatives from AMHS and Wesco and both parties agreed to terms of membership.
AMHS will enter Wesco as a 2A school (and maintain a two-year cycle for football with the Northwest Conference for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons) for the next two classification cycles. While AMHS will play a regular season of 3A competition (save for football), it will then enter district competition in the 2A district in which we currently reside, District 1.
As stated in the WIAA release, the following are the terms of membership to the Wesco Conference:
1. All transfer students enrolling at AMHS will go through an eligibility hearing through the District 1 Eligibility Committee.
2. Wesco Athletic Directors will consult to determine if they desire to have Archbishop Murphy opt up to the 3A classification for the next allocation cycle starting in 2020-21.
3. Within the next year, AMHS will provide a facility upgrade plan to Wesco that includes a five-year plan for facility improvements to its Athletic Facilities. AMHS will rent facilities as needed to meet Wesco expectations for hosting events that can't be accommodated at their facility (note: this facility upgrade will not include a track on the campus of AMHS as the campus does not have adequate space for this addition).
4. Wesco schools will put in writing any perceived or actual AMHS violations and provide to AMHS. AMHS will respond in writing per the WIAA regulations.
5. For the next two years (2018-19, 19-20). Any AMHS transfer within a 50-mile radius will only be eligible for regular season participation for the first calendar year after enrollment at AMHS.
6. AMHS will meet all expectations as outlined in the Wesco conditions of membership application. This includes a full audit, in accordance with best practices of the entire athletic program, including potential recruitment and transfer students, financial assistance and the student enrollment process. WIAA will conduct the audit and will assign the auditor.
This is an exciting moment in the history of AMHS. We look forward to a new era in athletics, school collaboration, and student Interhigh/ASB exchanges with Wesco. We are pleased to join a league with similar priorities to our school mission statement regarding the student experience as stated in the object statement found in the Wesco constitution: to maintain and administer a program of competitive athletics, to promote good sportsmanship, and maintain high educational standards among its member schools. This statement falls in line with what we would hope for in a conference membership. The WIAA district directors feel our membership terms provide AMHS an opportunity to develop trust and open lines of communication between all schools. As we concluded our meeting on Sunday, all parties shook hands and, we were officially welcomed into our new league.
Peace and all good things,