Earlier this week, I was emailing local high school athletic directors about dates, times and sites of culminating events as the 2020-21 high school athletic calendar starts to draw to a close.
One reply went something like this:
“Yes, we will have a district event and we have set a date. I just can’t remember off hand what we decided.”
And then the AD added: “I’m sorry. I’m limping to the finish.”
I totally understand that.
I remember talking to ADs way back last winter, before high school sports returned after the pandemic, and how chaotic the very condensed 2020-21 athletic calendar would be for athletes, coaches and, yes, the administrators who make it all happen.
Normally, this week we would be heading into the culminating state events for the school year. Storylines would be coming into focus on the few elite teams and athletes looking to cap their year in style.
But this year, it seems as if everyone is playing, especially in the 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League, which will be wrapping up seasons in about a dozen different sports over the next 11 days.
We’re going to do our coverage at as many of these culminating events as we can. But it might not be possible.
The least we can do is give you a guide to how each of our area leagues plan to put a bow on this very weird year.
Girls golf will get things started with 4A and 3A district tournaments scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at Lewis River Golf Course near Woodland.
Next Wednesday (June 2) is big day for district meets for 4A and 3A girls bowling at Crosley Lane, and the 4A and 3A track and field meets at McKenzie Stadium.
Baseball and softball teams will be following similar single-elimination playoff formats next week. Tuesday will start things with play-in games between the Nos. 8 and 9 teams in the 4A/3A GSHL. Quarterfinal games will be on Wednesday, with semifinal and championship games on Saturday — softball at Camas High School and baseball at Propstra Stadium.
Boys soccer will wrap up next week with more league games between teams from the same tier of the league standings.
Girls tennis will be finishing with team matches in semifinal and championship format next Wednesday and Thursday.
At this point, there are not traditional tournament events scheduled for wrestling, gymnastics and boys swimming.
For boys and girls basketball, league and district playoffs will be played the week of June 7-10. It starts on Monday, June 7 with games between the 2A GSHL’s No. 3 through No. 6 teams. Winners will advance to play the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds on Tuesday, June 8. Tuesday’s winners will crossover with two surviving teams from the 2A Evergreen Conference on Wednesday. Championship games are slated for Thursday, June 10.
Culminating events for girls bowling, wrestling and boys swimming have not been set yet.
In boys and girls basketball, the top two teams from the Trico will face off against the top two teams from the 1A EvCo. Those teams should be determined after league play ends on Friday.
After that, it will be up to the participating teams to finds dates and sites so that they don’t conflict with end-of-school-year events.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.