AURORA - After losing two schools, one that closed and another that is moving back up in classification, the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League will be returning to its previous eight-school membership with the additions of Canon City and The Classical Academy.
The Classification and League Organization Committee approved both measures on Tuesday as part of its biennial meeting to finalize the alignment for the upcoming two-year cycle.
All of Tuesday's actions will be officially ratified at the Colorado High School Activities Association legislative council meeting in January.
TCA and Canon City join existing members Harrison, Mesa Ridge, Mitchell, Sierra, Widefield and Woodland Park for future competition in all sports except football. Football leagues for the next cycle will be determined at that sport's committee meeting next month.
While TCA, forced to move up after outgrowing its 3A enrollment, had been previously approved for movements into its present-day league - Tri-Peaks - and the Metro League, Canon City had to sweat out a vote from the 13-member CLOC panel.
That's because Canon City's current league, the South Central, voted 4-3 on April 25 to block the move and keep the status quo among the seven-school outfit, of which the remaining six are in Pueblo County.
As it turned out, Canon City's request to start a new era in the Metro League passed unanimously.
"We've had good relations with the South Central League and have a long history and tradition," Tigers first-year athletic director Scott Manchester said. "But it's a relief to be approved since we didn't know what was going to happen."
Originally, the 4A Metro League was reduced to seven after the closure of Wasson last year. Then, upon submission of enrollment numbers in October, Coronado gained enough students from the Wasson closure to move back up to 5A (4A in football) for the next cycle.
Now, for at least the next two years, eight will be enough for the 4A CSML.
"It's nice to have eight again," said Shelli Miles, Widefield athletic director and 4A CSML president. "We were anxious to get both of them in. I think both will be good fits for our league. All of us were playing nonleague games anyway, so we'll be changing those nonleague games into league games."
Canon City, 50 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, won state championships in five different sports from 1990-2000, most recently 13 years ago in football (3A) and wrestling (4A).
TCA, the state's first charter school to grow into a 4A basketball enrollment (more than 600), already has experienced success at that level. Before the start of the previous cycle, the Titans' cross country teams ran up a class, with the girls' squad winning the state title in 2012. The boys' team finished second in 4A at last month's state meet.