SPOKANE - The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association decided Friday to postpone today's Class 2A state semifinal football game between Tumwater and East Valley of Spokane because wintry weather conditions have left Joe Albi Stadium unplayable because of snow.
The Tumwater-East Valley game has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at the Tacoma Dome. Today’s other scheduled semifinal game at Albi Stadium – Bellarmine Prep vs. Ferris in Class 4A – also will be played Monday at the Tacoma Dome, at 5 p.m.
The decision to postpone both games was made just before 5 p.m. Friday, a mere two hours after the Tumwater team arrived in Spokane. The team went to check out the stadium’s facilities and hoped to get in a light practice, only to find the stadium and surrounding areas covered with deep snow.
Snow fell in Spokane for most of the week, leaving the stadium with more than a foot of snow on the turf – with more expected today. The City of Spokane’s plows were unable to clear a lot of the snow at the stadium.
“As the week went on, the weather conditions got worse,” Tumwater athletic director Tim Graham said. “Knowing the fact of getting up to seven inches potentially (today), the decision was made that this would not be a viable place.”
Graham said Roos Field at Eastern Washington University was explored as a possible relocation site but was unavailable.
The WIAA said all other semifinal games today in Eastern Washington will be played as scheduled.
Tumwater players and coaches had dinner Friday night and planned to leave their Spokane hotel this morning. Coach Sid Otton said his team will have a light practice today back at Tumwater District Stadium.
With winter weather hitting South Sound earlier in the week, the Thunderbirds had game-like conditions with snow on the turf at Tumwater District Stadium during practices. Although Otton said his team was focused to play in wintry conditions, the last-minute change hasn’t unsettled the players.
“One thing about this group is not much fazes them,” Otton said. “They’re a focused group. We’ll look to the older guys to lead us and get this group ready.”
There was disappointment in the Bellarmine camp.
“It’s unfortunate, but you tell the kids to take care of things you can control. One of them you can’t control is the weather; the weather controlled us,” Bellarmine coach Tom Larsen said.
Senior tight end Bryce Plancich offered mixed feelings.
“We were disappointed. We came here to play, and now we’re not going to play,” he said. “But, we’ll be ready. It’s not going to change anything.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/prepsportsblog