Tim Martinez: Final preps weekend packed with local participants

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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The final week of the high school sports year is always the busiest.

Championships will be decided in golf, tennis, track and field, soccer, baseball and softball.

And this is a rare year when Clark County has participants in every sport this week.

There are the teams: Skyview baseball in Pasco, Skyview and Camas softball in Spokane, Woodland softball in Selah, Union soccer in Puyallup, Ridgefield soccer in Sumner. And that doesn't even count Prairie and Battle Ground softball, who because of last weekend's soggy weather have to come back today in an effort to advance to state.

And there are the individual sports: 4A/3A/2A track in Tacoma, 1A/2B/1B track in Cheney, 4A/3A tennis in the Tri-Cities, 2A tennis in Seattle and 1A tennis in Yakima.

But before any of that fun gets started this weekend, there is first the state golf championships, four of which will be held right here in Southwest Washington.

For the first time in more than a decade, state golf will be held at courses in the region. The 4A boys tournament is at Camas Meadows, the 3A boys are at Tri-Mountain, the 4A girls are at Club Green Meadows and the 3A girls are at Lewis River.

And while The Columbian will be out in force covering those four events on Tuesday and Wednesday, the biggest golf story from local participants could be provided by the Hockinson boys teams at the 2A tournament at Chambers Bay in Tacoma.

The Hawks will send a quartet of experienced and talented golfers to state: Casey Turner, Diego De La Torre, Jarred Gomez and Nick Huff. Seniors Huff and Gomez have plans to continue their golfing careers at college next season: Huff at Cal State Monterey Bay, and Gomez at Colorado Mesa.

De La Torre, Gomez and Huff each made the cut in last year's tournament in Spanaway. De La Torre finished ninth, Huff 12th and Gomez 23rd, helping the Hawks place fourth in the team standings.

The Hockinson boys are looking for better results in 2013 as they try to add to the school's totals of state team championships. Hockinson won the 2A title in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and placed second in 2009 and 2011.

So while we'll be covering the 4A and 3A golf championships locally, we'll also have an eye on the Hawks at the 2A tournament.

Here are some other teams we'll be keeping close tabs on this weekend:

SKYVIEW BASEBALL: The Storm ran away with the 4A Greater St. Helens League title, only to find themselves down 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh in the district title game against Heritage. The Storm roared back to win 6-4. At the bi-district tournament, the Storm lost 10-1 to top-ranked Puyallup. It looked as if Skyview might meet the Rams again at Saturday's regional in Tacoma. But Heritage knocked off Puyallup, setting up a fifth matchup of the season against Skyview. Skyview improved to 5-0 against Heritage with another 6-4 win to reach the state semifinals for the first time in school history. At Pasco on Friday, Skyview will face Kentridge, a team Skyview beat 7-2 in the opening round of the bi-district tournament. In fact, it's an all-West Central/Southwest final four with South Kitsap meeting Kentwood in the other semifinal.

SKYVIEW, CAMAS SOFTBALL: Camas won the 4A GSHL title, but behind Michelle Brincefield, Skyview won the district title game over the Papermakers. Both teams won twice Friday to clinch berths to state in Spokane, but rain washed out Saturday's action. Now both teams have to return to Spanaway today to sort out the top 4 seeds. Of course, in the eyes of the WIAA's state bracket, there is no distinction from being the No. 1, 2, 3 or 4 seed from the West Central, so it begs the question "Why are they even bothering to play these games at all?" It's a good question. The softball state bracket draw is expected to take place Tuesday.

BATTLE GROUND SOFTBALL: The Tigers trail Bellarmine Prep 1-0 in the fourth and will complete that suspended game today. If the Tigers lose, they're out. If they win, they'll need to beat Gig Harbor for a berth to state.

PRAIRIE SOFTBALL: The Falcons never got a chance to play in the 3A bi-district tournament before the rains arrived late Friday afternoon. Prairie will play at least two games today, needing to win just one to secure a berth to the 3A state tournament in Lacey.

WOODLAND SOFTBALL: The Beavers dominated play in the 1A Trico League in their first year back at Class 1A after four years at Class 2A. The Beavers won the 2A state championship in 2010 and will be among the favorites to contend for the 1A state title this weekend in Richland.

UNION SOCCER: A week ago, the Titans were looking for their first state tournament win. Now Union finds itself two wins away from a state championship. The Titans can thank a tough league schedule in helping prepare them for the postseason. Skyview was the defending 4A state champion, and Camas won the league title. Union finished in between those two teams, but the Titans find themselves as the last team standing from the GSHL when they face Roosevelt of Seattle in the 4A semifinal Friday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

RIDGEFIELD SOCCER: The Spudders have a rich tradition of success in boys soccer. They have advanced to state 12 times since 1998, reaching the state semifinals in 2A in 1998 and 1999 and advancing to the 2A title match in 2004 and 2005. As a 1A school, they again reached the semifinals last year, and find themselves back there again as a 2A school this year. Ridgefield will face Cheney on Friday at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter @360TMart.