Sorting out postseason high school football possibilities

mwochnick@theolympian.comOctober 24, 2013 

With two regular-season weeks remaining in the high school football season, here’s a breakdown of the playoff picture for the 4A and 3A Narrows League, 2A Evergreen Conference, 1A Southwest Washington Evergreen Division and the independent 1B teams:

4A NARROWS LEAGUE

District playoff berths: Three

Clinched: Bellarmine Prep (4-0 league), Gig Harbor (4-0)

In the mix: Central Kitsap (3-2), Olympia (2-2)

Out: Yelm (1-3), South Kitsap (1-3), Stadium (0-5)

The lowdown: There’s one fewer playoff berth from the 4A Narrows this year, so Olympia’s playoff fate lies in what happens Friday night. A win over No. 8-ranked Bellarmine Prep on the road keeps the Bears’ playoff hopes alive, while a loss puts Olympia out of playoff contention, regardless of the outcome of its regular-season finale against Yelm. Central Kitsap holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Olympia, so if South Kitsap beats Central Kitsap next week and Olympia wins its final two games, the Bears will snag the third and final playoff spot. Gig Harbor and Bellarmine Prep have locked up playoff berths, and their Week 9 showdown in Gig Harbor should have league title implications.

3A NARROWS LEAGUE

District playoff berths: Three

Clinched: None

In the mix: Lincoln (3-1 league), Wilson (4-1), Timberline (3-1), Foss (3-2), North Thurston (2-2)

Out: Mount Tahoma (0-4), Shelton (0-4)

The lowdown: The mystery of which teams will emerge for playoff berths from the 3A Narrows League continues. Friday’s North Thurston-Timberline game has a lot on the line. The teams have been going in different directions in recent weeks. Timberline has won four in a row while North Thurston has dropped three of its past four games. A win by Timberline eliminates North Thurston. But if the Rams win there could be a five-way tie for first. Timberline, Lincoln, Wilson and Foss will be in pursuit of one of three playoff berths, depending on what happens Nov. 1. Surprising Wilson can clinch the league title and the No. 1 seed Friday with a win over Lincoln, which dropped a 14-13 decision to Foss last week.

2A EVERGREEN CONFERENCE

District playoff berths: Three

Clinched: Tumwater (3-0 league)

In the mix: W.F. West (2-1), Capital (2-1), River Ridge (1-2), Black Hills (1-2), Centralia (0-3)

Out: None

The lowdown: The top-ranked Thunderbirds can clinch the No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year with a win Friday over River Ridge, which

means they’ll be the host for a Week 10 District IV crossover game. The last time Tumwater failed to make it past the district playoffs was 2009. The top three teams from the EvCo and 2A GSHL make up the Week 10 district games; the top two EvCo teams will play host to the 2A GSHL’s No. 2 and 3 seeds (likely Mark Morris and Hockinson, respectively). Friday’s W.F. West-Capital game likely will determine the EvCo’s Nos. 2 and 3 seeds, yet there’s still an outside chance for the remaining three teams to be playoff bound.

State berths: Three

1A SWW EVERGREEN

District playoff berths: Four

Clinched: Rochester (4-1 league)

In the mix: Tenino (3-1), Elma (3-1), Montesano (2-2), Forks (2-2), Hoquiam (1-3)

Out: Rainier (0-5)

The lowdown: Few could have predicted how the 1A Southwest Washington Evergreen Division would turn out. It seems to be south Thurston County’s turn be on top of the league standings. The league’s current one-loss teams — Rochester and Tenino — will meet in Week 9 in Tenino with perhaps the league title on the line. It’s already been a storied season for the Warriors, who look to clinch their first league title since 1999, the year they went undefeated in the regular season under coach Bob Wollan. The league’s top two teams host Week 10 district crossover games against the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds from the 1A SWW Trico Division.

State berths: Four

INDEPENDENTS

If Mary M. Knight is to return to the 1B state quarterfinals, the Owls will have to blaze a tough trail.

District IV has been allotted one Class 1B state berth, and because of the 1B Pacific Coastal League’s disbandment Jan. 1, a special District IV bracket for the 1B independent teams was developed by Rich Frazer, director of District IV, to figure out the district’s four playoff-bound 1B teams.

Mary M. Knight (3-1) faces Wishkah Valley on Saturday with the winner tabbed as the No. 1 seed, said MMK athletic director John Schultz, meaning the Owls will play a crossover game with the No. 3 seed from District 1/2/3 on Nov. 15 or 16. The winner of that game advances to the 1B state quarterfinals. The winner of the Lake Quinault-Oakville game Nov. 1 is the district’s No. 4 seed.

State berths: One.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/ south-sound-sports-blog @megwochnick

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