Football still rules.
So when one of our high school football teams make it to the state championship game, well, that just about trumps everything else.
For this year, The Columbian Sports staff is breaking up our top stories into two categories: Top 5 Clark County sporting items of 2011 and the Top 5 from the region.
That way, we can honor Skyview for stealing the show this past fall and still say Brandon Roy is No. 1 in our hearts.
Here are The Columbian’s picks for best sports stories of 2011.
1 Skyview Storm football makes it to December
“For the first time, a Skyview Storm is in the football forecast for December.
“Skyview threw over and ran through the Lake Stevens defense Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, completing a 38-14 victory over the Vikings in a Class 4A state semifinal game.”
— Published Nov. 27, the day after Skyview clinched a berth to the title game.
The Storm would end up second, falling to perennial power Skyline, but the Storm captured the attention of just about every Southwest Washington fan with their 11-game win streak and first trip to the championship game.
Skyview’s run was the pinnacle of a standout season for a lot of teams. Camas reached the 3A semifinals for the first time. Union got to the 4A quarterfinals. And Mountain View and La Center returned to the state playoffs, too.
2 Vancouver, USA, brings home the Stanley Cup
“Wednesday was (Tom) McVie’s day with the Cup, and he spent much of the day sharing it with hockey fans in the region.”
— Published Aug. 18
Tom McVie is a longtime scout for the Boston Bruins and a resident of our Vancouver. Tradition gives every member of the winning NHL organization a day with the cup. McVie chose to use his day to tour Portland and Vancouver, to give hockey fans the opportunity to see the cup.
An estimated crowd of 500 showed up to the Mountain View Ice Arena to have their picture taken with the trophy. The first people in line had waited almost four hours.
3 Vancouver USA, becomes Marathon City
“Athletes from all over the world participated, but this was a particularly special day for those in the local running community.”
— Published June 20 after Vancouver held its first marathon.
Roughly 1,000 runners signed up for the city’s first marathon, and a couple of former local high school standouts now running in college — Cody Barton of Ridgefield and Lauren Breihof of Mountain View — were the inaugural winners.
4 Kara Patterson does it again at nationals
“The first throw of the day turned out to be a winner for (Kara) Patterson as she claimed her fourth straight national title at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships”
— Published June 26
We hope we never take for granted Patterson’s dominance in women’s javelin. Four national championships in a row, and her journey started at Skyview High School.
5 Heritage athlete crushes state javelin record
“(Sean) Keller broke the meet record and won the javelin title Saturday at the Class 4A state track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School with a mark of 220 feet, 6 inches. He shattered the previous mark of 208-4 on his first attempt, and turned the rest of the meet into a coronation rather than a competition.”
— Published May 29
Keller not only won the state championship, but he also recorded the best high school javelin mark in the nation.