The CWAC football scene will have a different look this fall with the conference splitting into North and South divisions.
“The WIAA wanted competitive equality in football, so our league decided to do that and be proactive,” Grandview athletic director Scott Parrish said. “They asked to look at things and we moved forward. The SCAC was supportive in working us into their nonleague schedule.”
In the past, the 10-team CWAC had just one nonleague game per team on the schedule. The new format gives schools more of an opportunity to compete against teams they normally would not.
The change will also eliminate a scenario like the one Prosser had at the end of last season when it played its regular season finale against Selah on Nov. 3, a tiebreaker against Selah and Othello Nov. 5 and then a glue crossover against Pullman Nov. 8.
“That’s a lot,” Parrish said. “This will give (teams) a chance to be rested and prepared.”
The split will put Othello, Quincy, Ephrata, East Valley and Ellensburg in the North, with Grandview, Selah, Prosser, Toppenish and Wapato in the South.
At the end of the regular season, non-playoff teams will face each other in crossover games Friday, Oct. 27. The North champion will play the South champion Oct. 28 for the district’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, and the runners-up in both divisions will play for the No. 3 seed.
The CWAC’s No. 1 seed gets a berth to the state playoffs, and the Nos. 2 and 3 teams play crossover games against the top two Great Northern League teams.
Grandview already has its schedule set, playing Kiona-Benton in Week 1 and River View in Week 2. The Greyhounds then will play Quincy and East Valley the following weeks before starting play in the CWAC South.
SCAC teams like Royal, which won the 1A state title last season, enjoy the competition. The Knights beat Ellensburg 21-14 last year, and have them penciled in for a Week 1 road game this season.
“It doesn’t affect us much, we already had them on the schedule,” Royal coach Wiley Allred said. “We did trade Zillah for Othello in Week 2. It makes a lot of sense. You get to match up with good competition in other leagues.”