Sometimes change is good. Sumner moved up a classification to 4A this past offseason, and Tacoma Baptist moved down to 1B. They are the only South Sound schools to enter the postseason unbeaten, both at 9-0. Tacoma Baptist, a year after going 2-7 in the 2B Pacific League, gets a bye into the first round of the 1B state playoffs, where it will face the winner of Crescent-Oakville next week. Tacoma Baptist is allowing the fewest point per game in the 1B classification (8.2). Sumner hosts Glacier Peak, which also moved from 3A to 4A, in districts on Friday.
PALOUSE TO PREPS
Auburn Riverside coach Bryant Thomas and Monroe coach Michael Bumpus both went to high schools in Southern California (Thomas at San Pedro, Bumpus at Culver City), and both went on to play at Washington State, where they were influenced by former receivers coach Mike Levenseller, even though Bumpus was born two years after Thomas had graduated from high school. Both Thomas and Bumpus ended up coaching at Western Washington high schools. “Will be fun competing against another Coug, from Los Angeles, coaching in Washington,” Thomas said. “Bet that doesn’t happen often.”
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Oh, the futility. Neither Stadium nor Auburn Riverside have ever reached the state playoffs. They are now one win this weekend away from doing so. But they aren’t the only South Sound playoff-thirsty programs within reach of history. Black Hills, Todd Beamer and Auburn Mountainview have won district playoff games, but never in the state playoffs. And Enunclaw, Mount Rainier and Washington have reached state before, but not since the turn of the century. Washington last reached state in 1990, Enumclaw in 1995 and Mount Rainier in 1996.
Lincoln’s seven-game win streak ended when Stadium beat the Abes in the regular-season finale. It had no bearing on Lincoln’s top seed into the playoffs, but Masaki Matsumoto spent 17 hours at Lincoln anyway, from Saturday to Sunday, planning for this week’s district playoff game against West Seattle. As much as Matsumoto said it “wasn’t pleasant” to lose to Stadium, the defeat might have been a wake-up call. “They exposed some of the weaknesses we had,” Matsumoto said. “We had a good staff meeting, got the coaches on the same page, addressed some things on defense and offense, and we’ve had a good week of practice.”
OH, YOU AGAIN
Friday is Nov. 4, not Sept. 9. But the confusion is understandable considering two of Friday’s district playoff games match the same teams, at the same locations, as on Sept. 9. Washington heads to Fife for the second time this season, with the Trojans having won the first meeting, 31-7. Stadium for the second time will travel to Peninsula, with the Seahawks having won the first time, 27-19. Only this time the winners advance to the state playoffs. Steilacoom didn’t meet Olympic this year, but the teams did meet in the district playoffs last season, with Olympic winning, 70-6.
TJ Cotterill: email@example.com