Don't lose NK rivalry in Metro jump

"Consider us among the Spartan fans excited by the prospect of an elevated level of athletic play in Seattle's Metro League.As reported recently, the move would follow the imminent disbanding of the current Olympic League. And should it happen as expected, it'll be a win-win situation for Bainbridge athletes on almost all levels. Bainbridge kids will get to skip the twice-a-year tilts against the Olympic League have-nots, so there will be no more instances where the Spartan girls' basketball team beats a Klahowya or a Chimacum by scores that usually approach 100-2. They'll get to stay loose on a ferry sailing instead of tightened up on a long bus ride. And player parents who work on the Seattle side of the water will find it easier to get their work done and still see their kids in action.With any move of such magnitude, there's sure to be a few bumps, however. One concerns the Spartan swim-and-dive teams, which shouldn't be forced to convert to the Metro format of a winter co-ed season. They should instead be allowed - even encouraged - to opt out to the KingCo League, comprised of the state's best 3A swim-and-dive schools.Another consideration has to do with eighth-grade football players. Currently, eighth-graders over 135 pounds are allowed to play with the Spartans' highly successful freshman football team, which has been playing a slate of junior high schools throughout the West Sound. That would change with the jump to Metro, which plays with a strict ninth-grade-and-up freshman or C team program - thus leaving out the handful of kids who are too big to play under Pee Wee football regulations.One league or the other needs to offer these in-betweeners some kind of waiver so they don't have to miss a key season of development - and of fun.And last, should this move happen as planned, Bainbridge High's longstanding traditional rivalry with North Kitsap will all but fall by the wayside. We strongly urge the coaches and athletic directors for both schools not to let this happen - to instead give in to a stray twinge of sentiment and, when and where possible, schedule at least one non-league game between the Fish and the Berries in each sport.We agree with the Spartan coach who said, to be the best, you have to play the best. We hope it's all done for the best.Island TimeReaders of the Review's Saturday Calendar section (today, page A8) will notice the second installment in a new weekly feature, Island Time. This and every week, you'll find one of a rotating group of local columnists, and a community Wish List with ideas for donations or volunteer efforts around the island. Other features are planned.If your community group, school class, church or non-profit agency has an upcoming service project - maybe a canned food drive, coat-and-blanket donations, whatever - drop a line to Penny Paulsen at Helpline House, 842-7621. She'll compile the information and get it to us. "

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