Cancellation of the yearly Spaghetti Bowl this fall and probably again in 2017 is sad news for avid Olympia-area high school football fans.
The event celebrates a natural sports rivalry between the capital city’s two high schools — Olympia and Capital — and it’s the one football game of the year many local fans attend.
The event, which has been held 39 straight years, also developed into a fundraiser for college scholarships.
The Rotary club serving Olympia and west Olympia hosted the yearly pregame spaghetti feed that raised money, but that too is canceled for now.
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Last year’s spaghetti feed and game drew an impressive 3,500 people altogether.
The problem arose only because Olympia and Capital are joining new leagues this fall that leave fewer dates available. That realignment came about after the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association put in place a new four-year reclassification cycle in January.
Olympia is larger, so it is joining the 4A South Puget Sound League, and 3A school Capital is moving into the new South Sound Conference. Though Capital has nonleague games to start the season, it has booked local rivals River Ridge of Lacey and Black Hills of Tumwater. Olympia is booked with league games until the ninth week.
These league scheduling conflicts apparently affect basketball and soccer, too. So the stars are simply crossed for the hometown teams — for at least this fall and probably the next.
If you’re keeping score, staff sportswriter Lauren Smith reports that Capital leads the series 21-18, but Olympia won last year by a score of 41-7. So for the moment, OHS retains the game trophy.
In the spirit of sportsmanship, one imagines the two rival schools could work out some kind of agreement to share it — perhaps alternating every school semester or sports season.
The Spaghetti Bowl is too much fun to give up. We wish for its speedy return.