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July 13, 2020

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Tim Martinez: Looking ahead to football playoffs

Tim Martinez: High school sports

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:

After his team’s loss in its showdown with Camas, Union coach Gary McGarvie was telling his team to turn the page and move on.

Camas coach Jon Eagle was probably telling his team the same thing.

So we’ll take advice from McGarvie and Eagle and start looking ahead.

The first thing you should know is nothing is settled in the 4A Greater St. Helens League in football. At least, not yet.

Even with their big win on Friday, the Papermakers have not clinched a playoff berth. There is one scenario, however unlikely, in which Camas finishes in a three-way tie for second.

But at the same time, if everything goes according to form, Camas, Union and Skyview could clinch playoff berths with wins this Friday.

If that happens, Camas would secure the No. 1 berth to the state preliminary round, and Union and Skyview would meet Oct. 31 to decide the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.

And being the No. 2 seed from the 4A may not be such a bad thing. Here’s why.

The No. 1 seed from the 4A GSHL won’t have to leave Clark County until reaching the state semifinals at the Tacoma Dome. The No. 1 seed would host a Week 10 state preliminary game, as well as first-round and quarterfinal games at state.

However, the opponent in that quarterfinal matchup could be top-ranked Bothell, if everything goes according to form. So circle Nov. 22 on your calendar for a potential matchup between No. 1 Bothell and No. 2 Camas at Doc Harris Stadium in a state quarterfinal.

The No. 2 seed in the 4A GSHL will host a Week 10 state preliminary game. But after that, that team will be on the road in the first round and quarterfinals at state. But the highest ranked team the No. 2 team from the GSHL may face is No. 5 Lake Stevens.

The No. 3 seed from the 4A GSHL will play on the road in Week 10. The winner of that game could open state on the road, potentially against defending state champion Chiawana of Pasco.

In the 3A GSHL, things are a bit easier to figure out. Barring a stunning turn of events, Columbia River will play at Kelso on Oct. 31 for the league title. The winner will be in line for home playoff games over the next three weeks. The loser heads on the road in Week 10.

Even with two weeks left in the season, the three playoff berths for the 2A GSHL have been clinched.

If Woodland beats Hockinson on Friday, things get easier. The Beavers would be league champions and then Hockinson and R.A. Long would meet Oct. 31 for the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds to the district playoffs.

If Hockinson wins, things could also be easy if the Hawks then beat R.A. Long next week. Then the Hawks would be No. 1, followed by Woodland, then R.A. Long.

But if Hockinson wins, then loses to R.A. Long, we could have a three-way tie for first. I’d prefer not to think about that option.

Still a lot of possibilities left for the three district Trico League berths. Here’s the easiest route to sort things out. La Center clinches the No. 1 seed to district by beating Kalama on Friday. If Stevenson beats Castle Rock on Friday, Stevenson would then clinch the No. 2 seed. Then Kalama and Castle Rock would play off for the third berth on Oct. 31.

Wins by Kalama or Castle Rock this week would open another box of what-ifs. So we’ll leave that for next week.

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