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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Nov. 29, 2023

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Tim Martinez: Area’s top football teams take lessons from Week 1 losses

High School Sports

The Columbian
2 Photos
An off-target snap gets behind Union's offense during the first quarter of Saturday's game against Eastlake.
An off-target snap gets behind Union's offense during the first quarter of Saturday's game against Eastlake. (Will Denner/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

That was a bumpy Week 1 for the top high school football teams in Southwest Washington.

Mountain View went nearly to the Canadian border to play Nooksack Valley, only to lose when a potential game-winning field goal sailed wide at the buzzer.

Seton Catholic had a potential game-winning field goal against Rochester blocked on the final play of the game.

Union was stopped at the 1-yard line by Eastlake — trailing by 3 — as time expired.

But at least those games were close. Camas went up to Yelm and lost 44-14. It was the program’s most lopsided defeat since 2007, the year before Jon Eagle took over as head coach.

Last week, The Columbian launched a new feature in which we ranked area high school football teams in relation to their classification, sort of a pound-for-pound ranking.

Well, six of the top seven teams we had in our preseason power rankings lost in Week 1.

But Union coach Rory Rosenbach said it best.

“We just reminded them, this doesn’t meaning anything. This means 0-1 and that’s it,” Rosenbach said. “It doesn’t mean you can’t do all the things you set out (to do) from a goal standpoint. We just gotta come back to work. We gotta be more disciplined.”

And he’s right. A non-league loss in Week 1 has zero impact on a team’s chances of making the postseason. It could impact your seeding, now that state brackets are seeded, but it won’t keep a team from getting a chance to compete for a state title.

We saw Camas open the season last year with four consecutive losses, then reel off seven consecutive wins to reach the state quarterfinals.

It’s why we are seeing more and more teams schedule challenging non-league schedules. Those early defeats could pay dividends later in the season.

We’ve also seen teams open 3-0 then finish the season 4-5.

And that’s why every coach that enjoyed a nice Week 1 win was also talking about what his team needed to get better at before Week 2.

It’s just one week, one game.

Although it will make our Week 2 power rankings — set to post later Wednesday on our high school sports blog — interesting to put together.

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High school football schedules generally get set in the spring.

But this fall, you can expect a lot of changes, maybe not in opponents, but more game times and days will change.

Last week, Woodland vs. Kalama was originally scheduled to kick off on a Friday. But because of a shortage of officials, teams are moving games to Thursdays or Saturdays.

It will be an ongoing issue all season long.

“It’s getting a little bit better,” one official I chatted with last Friday said. “But we are still going to need a little help.”

This week, Skyview and Columbia River were originally set to renew their rivalry on Friday night. However, the game has been moved to 1 p.m. Saturday at Kiggins Bowl.

At last Thursday’s Woodland-Kalama game, it was announced that the Chinooks’ Week 3 home game against La Center had been moved from a Friday night game to a Thursday night game.

In Week 4, Hudson’s Bay will host Ridgefield in a 2A Greater St. Helens game on a Thursday night at Kiggins Bowl.

There is a small upside to all these changes. Not only does it make it easier for the Evergreen Football Officials Association to get officials to game, it makes it easier for The Columbian to get more games covered.

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