It's playoff time for high school football.
It may be the most exciting time of the year. And for those us who cover the games, also the most frustrating ... at times.
That's because everyone wants to know the same thing: Who is my favorite playing, and when and where will that game be played?
Answering the first question is often tough. It's hard enough trying to figure out seeding procedures and potential tiebreakers for the local leagues that we cover. Trying to figure it out for leagues in other areas of the state can be like solving the mysteries of life.
On the first question, we've got some answers.
At Class 4A, we've got South Kitsap at Camas, Newport of Bellevue at Skyview and Union at Graham-Kapowsin.
At Class 3A, we've got Bainbridge at Columbia River, and Mountain View at Marysville-Pilchuck.
At Class 2A, there's Capital of Olympia at Ridgefield, and Hockinson at Tumwater.
At Class 1A, Elma is at La Center, and Tenino is at Woodland.
Now for the when and where part.
Let's start with the 2A and 1A games. These games, barring some odd conflict, will be played Friday at the home stadium of the host school.
The 4A and 3A games are a different matter.
The Standard Operating Procedures for these state preliminary games state that these games will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday.
But there are provisos.
For one, the game can't be played on grass fields. So that means Columbia River will be playing at Kiggins Bowl instead of Chieftain Stadium.
A second stipulation is that the game time can be changed if there a facility conflict. With Skyview also playing a game at Kiggins, there will be a conflict.
No problem, move one game to 1 p.m. Saturday and play the other at 7 p.m.
Oops. But there's another conflict. Kiggins Bowl will host a bi-district girls soccer game at 2 p.m. featuring Columbia River.
But there's another proviso in the SOPs. The football games could be played on Friday night, if both teams agree to play the game on Friday.
Normally, teams prefer to play on Fridays because that's their normal schedule. But with both opponents of Skyview and Columbia River having played Saturday games last weekend, it seems unlikely that either team will want to come back and play on a short week that includes a bus ride of three-plus hours.
Then, you're looking at a potential tripleheader at Kiggins, by moving the soccer game up to 1 p.m., followed by football games at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
But this is all speculation. This is why we don't already know the answers for when and where. This is what the athletic directors for the participating schools have to figure out.
Hopefully, they'll have a decision today. And when they let us know, we'll let you know.
And then we can shelve the frustration and get back to the excitement ... for at least another week.
There is a postseason volleyball match every day this week, Monday through Saturday.
CLASS 4A: Battle Ground plays at Skyview tonight in an elimination match. The winner faces Union on Tuesday in a bi-district seeding match. Camas awaits Tuesday's winner in the district title match on Wednesday. The top three teams advance to the bi-district tournament at Kentwood High on Friday and Saturday.
CLASS 3A: The district playoff opens today at Columbia River with Hudson's Bay or Mountain View facing Kelso in a loser-out match. The playoffs end Tuesday with Monday's winner facing River at 5 p.m., with that winner facing Prairie at 7 p.m. The top three teams advance to the bi-district tournament at Auburn-Mountainview High on Friday and Saturday.
CLASS 2A: Hockinson faces R.A. Long at Mark Morris on Tuesday to decide the final berth to the district tournament. The winner faces Capital on Thursday in a first-round district match at Lower Columbia College. Ridgefield meets Centralia in another first-round match at Mark Morris. The tournament concludes Saturday.
CLASS 1A: King's Way Christian meets Forks, and Woodland takes on Montesano in Montesano in first-round matches on Wednesday. The tournament concludes Saturday in Castle Rock.
CLASS 4A: Evergreen plays Camas today in a bi-district seeding match. The winner plays Union on Wednesday. All three teams will play bi-district games on Saturday with the top two teams playing at McKenzie Stadium.
CLASS 3A: Prairie and Mountain View play Tuesday in a loser-out match to determine the No. 3 seed to the bi-district playoffs. Columbia River will play a bi-district playoff Saturday at Kiggins Bowl. Tuesday's winner will play in Burien against an opponent to be determined later this week.
CLASS 2A: 2A GSHL league champion Hockinson finds itself in the first of three must-win games this week when the Hawks face Mark Morris on Tuesday. If they win, there are two more potential loser-out games on Thursday and Saturday. Ridgefield faces W.F. West on Tuesday for a berth to state. If the Spudders win, they'll play for the district title on Thursday. If they lose, they have to win two more games (Thursday and Saturday) to go to state.
CLASS 1A: Woodland will play at home against Montesano or Hoquiam on Tuesday for a berth to state. Monte and Hoquiam play today in a tiebreaker game (advantage Woodland). King's Way Christian will play at Rochester in another winner-to-state/loser-out match. If either team wins Tuesday, they'll play Thursday in Kalama for state seeding. La Center is already assured of a state berth. The Wildcats will face Elma on Thursday in Kalama for the district title and state seeding.
Swimmers will be vying for berths at the state meet during district meets this weekend.
Class 4A swimmers will compete Friday at Propstra Aquatic Center in Vancouver, 3A swimmers will swim at Kelso on Thursday and Saturday and 2A-1A swimmers will be at The Evergreen State College in Olympia on Friday and Saturday.
The first state champions of the 2012-13 school year will be crowned Saturday at Sun Willow Golf Course in Pasco.
Alexa Efraimson and the Camas girls will be looking for state titles in the 4A race, and several other Clark County runners and teams are looking for high finishes at the state meet.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org