Tim Martinez: High school fall sports hit full stride this week

Commentary: Tim Martinez

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

Now, it's on.

Sure, we've grown somewhat accustomed to seeing high school football games and golf matches being held before school starts.

But soccer and volleyball matches? That's a little different.

Tuesday marks the first full day of high school sports in Clark County, with a few volleyball matches, 12 soccer matches and six golf matches on the schedule.

For students in Camas and Washougal, Tuesday is the first day of school. But for students in Vancouver, Evergreen and Battle Ground school districts, school doesn't open until Wednesday.

That means some teams will play their first regular-season matches before sitting in on their first class of the year.

McKenzie Stadium will host its first girls soccer doubleheader on the new playing surface -- something about which I'm sure all area soccer players and coaches are thankful. McKenzie's old surface was bad for most events, but downright awful for soccer.

Tuesday's doubleheader will start with Washougal vs. Heritage at 5 p.m., followed by Battle Ground vs. Mountain View at 7 p.m.

Kiggins Bowl also will host a soccer doubleheader with Camas facing Hudson's Bay at 5 p.m. and Ridgefield taking on Skyview at 7 p.m.

And there are other matches Tuesday, most of them being non-league. As the 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens league each have an even six teams, league play won't begin for another three weeks.

But in the 1A Trico League teams, just about every match is a league match. That's because the Trico will be a 10-team league in most sports.

So on Tuesday, there are four league matches in Trico League soccer: Woodland at White Salmon, La Center at Seton Catholic, Stevenson at King's Way Christian and Kalama at Toledo.

The league even has matches scheduled for Thursday and Saturday.

Thursday is the first really full day of matches for volleyball teams, with 10 matches on the schedule.

And there are some traditional season openers this week. On Thursday, every swimming program in the area will be heading up to Longview for the GSHL Relays at Mark Morris High School.

Cross country's traditional opening event is the Hudson's Bay Run-A-Ree. Camas, Battle Ground, Skyview, Union, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hockinson, Ridgefield, Washougal, Seton Catholic and King's Way are scheduled to have runners participating in that event.

Friday night football

Friday night brings Week 2 of the high school football season.

Week 1 had everything an opening week should have -- great weather, great performance, enthusiastics fans -- except maybe a thrilling game.

Friday's game including six running-clock games -- games in which the winning team built a lead of 40 points or more (in Oregon, it's 45, so no running clock for Camas in its 63-20 win).

That including all four Trico League games. And those were league games, all decided by 41 points or more.

There were really one two games that could be described as close: Columbia River's 40-34 win over Heritage and Prairie's 23-20 win over Rainier, Ore.

But neither River nor Prairie trailed in their games. In fact, there was only one game that had a second-half lead change -- Hockinson's 40-21 win at Elma.

Now that I think about it, the Hockinson-Elma game was the only one to have a lead change at any point in the game after the first team scored.

Yikes. Well, we can only hope Week 2 brings us more compelling matchups, and that Week 1 wasn't a sign of things to come this season.

Player of the week

Speaking of football performances, voting is happening now for The Columbian's football player of the week.

Vote at www.facebook.com/360preps. Voting continues through 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com