La Center’s game time for football playoff Saturday remains unsettled

Cascade Christian wants to play at 8 p.m.; Wildcats say that's too late

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



The La Center football team will play Cascade Christian of Puyallup in the Class 1A state quarterfinals this weekend.

That much we know.

However, when and where remain in doubt.

According to the WIAA rules, Cascade Christian is the designated home team in this matchup as the bottom team on the bracket.

Cascade Christian plays its home games at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. However, Sunset Chev is the host stadium for the Class 2B/1B girls and boys soccer semifinals and finals this weekend. On top of that, Sumner High School is hosting a 4A quarterfinal against Monroe at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Chev.

Tacoma News Tribune reported Monday a tentative time of 8 p.m. Saturday had been set for the La Center-Cascade Christian at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

But La Center athletic director Matt Cooke said La Center had not agreed to that start time.

“That is too late to have our team, parents, student body, and fans drive back to La Center after the game,” Cooke said.

The game at Sparks Stadium could not be played earlier as Sparks is hosting the 4A and 3A girls soccer state semifinal and finals.

Last week, Cascade Christian played a game against Nooksack Valley that lasted more than three hours. The Cougars won that game 61-53. La Center’s 42-24 win over Mount Baker lasted about two hours, 15 minutes.

Sparks Stadium is about a two-hour drive from La Center with no traffic.

According to WIAA, it’s up to the athletic director of the home team to find a site and time for any state playoff game. However, the visiting team’s AD must agree to the proposed game time if it falls outside of the default start time of 1 p.m. Saturday.

Cooke said La Center did not agree to the 8 p.m. start. According to the WIAA, any disputes will be settled by the directors of the districts involved. In this case, that would be District 3 director Joe Keller  and District 4 co-directors Tim Graham of Tumwater and Tim Trimble of Montesano.

“It may have to go to the District Directors to iron out,” Cooke said. “If we can’t get an earlier time on Saturday, then we will go with what the District Directors decide.”

Two other state football games are being played near Puyallup this weekend. Graham Kapowsin is facing Woodinville in Class 4A playoff at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Art Crate Field in Spanaway. Also in Class 2A, Tumwater meets Steilacoom at 7 p.m. Friday at Lakes High School in Lakewood. That game was first scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Lakes before being moved to Friday night.