Let’s take a look at where we stand in class 1A at the midway point of the High School football season. Ultimately 16 teams will advance to the 1A State football tournament. Last year the State Champions were once again the Royal Knights, their 3rd straight State Title. Mount Baker had a strong run and fell short against the Knights 35-20. Nooksack Valley and Freeman also advanced to the final 4.
Let’s take a look at the likely contenders at this point of the season. We take a look at the current standings and the RPI but remember the RPI is very early and is meant to be a full season measurement. We also have listed every league and their current standings below. Many leagues also crossover with each other to share their allocations to the state tournament and allow more schools to have a chance to qualify. We do not know how each league is set up so we are looking at all leagues with a general overview. Let’s get started!
The Caribou League with 5 teams were represented by the Cashmere Bulldogs last year who won their opening round game eliminating La Center but then falling to Nooksack Valley in the quarters. The Bulldogs look primed to make another run with a 5-0 overall record and have yet to play a league game but check in with the #4 RPI. The Chelan Goats looked like they were set for a charge at the top starting with a 4-0 record but then got belted by Omak 60-20 in their 1st league game. Omak at 2-3 is the team to watch as they played a tough non-conference schedule but were ready to fire in their league opener. Quincy is 3-2 and 1-0 and will get a chance to show if they will challenge for the top spot when they take on Omak this week. Looks like Cashmere is the team to beat can Chelan, Omak or Quincy make a run is the question.
In the Emerald Sound league King’s is back with a strong start at 5-0 on the season but has yet to play a league game. Currently King’s is the #5 RPI trying to get past the opening round where they were knocked out last year. Granite Falls and Sultan are the two teams that look like they could take a big swing at the top with both at 4-1 but Sultan dropped their 1st league game to Granite Falls. Cedar Park Christian is on the edge with a 3-2 season mark but did beat South Whidbey in their league opener.
The EVCO 1A another 5 team league had 3 entries into the state tournament last year with Montesano, Eatonville and Tenino all making the round of 16. The Beavers were knocked out by Mount Baker 37-26 while Montesano and Eatonville both advanced to the quarterfinals but their journeys ended there with the Bulldogs losing to Royal and Freeman eliminating the Cruisers. Montesano is 5-0 this year and the #9 in the RPI and is the team to beat. Both Eatonville and Elma are 3-2 overall and both 1-0 in league play beating Hoquiam and Tenino. The Cruisers and Eagles are the only ones who could push Monte off their path to the top of the Evco 1A but getting into their crossovers with the Trico league could see them again send multiple teams to the state tournament.
The Nisqually league is clearly divided with 3 teams at 4-1 and 3 teams winless. One of the winless teams is Bellevue Christian who made it to the round of 16 last year but will not this season. Life Christian Academy the 3 4-1 teams in the RPI at #10. Cascade Christian is #12 and Klahowya is #24 but are at a disadvantage as their 1 loss is a league loss to Life Christian. LCA and CC will meet on Saturday, October 14 and will likely go a long way in determining the League Champ.
The Northeast 1A league is led by Lakeside 9-mile Falls who are the #2 team in the RPI with a 4-0 overall record and 2-0 in league. The Eagles are looking to get back to the big dance after matching their best season ever with a quarterfinal appearance last year. There is a logjam behind the Eagles with 3 teams at 2-1 which include RPI ranked Newport (3-2, 2-1) at 16, Riverside (3-2, 2-1) at 17 and Colville (4-1, 2-1) at 21. Then there is the 3-2 Freeman Scotties (3-2, 1-1) ranked 11th in the RPI also knocking on the door. Three teams made it to the tournament last year with Freeman getting to the semi-finals, Lakeside advanced to the quarters and Riverside was in the round of 16. It won’t be a surprise to see another 3 teams from the NS 1A in the tournament and will be serious contenders.
Nooksack Valley got to the quarters last year and clearly have designs on getting deeper into the tournament jumping out with a 1-0 league record and 4-1 overall with their lone loss a non-conference game at 5-0 King’s the #5 RPI team, 28-26. The Pioneers are the top RPI team in the NWC at #6. Mount Baker got to the Championship game last year but are 2-3, 1-0 so far this year trying to get on-track and checks in as the #32 RPI team. The always dangerous Lynden-Christian is 3-2, 0-0 through 5 games and have 4 straight league games left to go. They are fresh off of thrashing the defending 2B state champs Napavine who were undefeated and 3rd in the 2B RPI. The Lynx are always dangerous and 13th in the RPI. Meridian should not be counted out yet either at #18 in the RPI and currently 3-2, 1-1.
In the SCAC East it is a 1-horse race with the 3-time defending champs Royal unblemished at 5-0 and the current #3 RPI team. The other 4 teams in the SCAC East are ranked between 26 and 38 with Connell the closest at 26 with a 2-3, 1-0 record. This is all Royal and they will surely not be in a giving mood when the play-offs roll around again.
It is a different story in the SCAC West with LaSalle at 5-0, 1-0 and the #8 RPI. Naches Valley is 4-1 and have yet to play a league game and checks in at #22 in the RPI while Zillah is 3-2, 0-1 and RPI rank of 20. They lost 48-7 to Royal and then the Jags lost their 1st league game to LaSalle but were right in it with a 27-19 loss. Toppenish is 1-0 in league but 1-4 overall but Toppenish and Zillah did make it to the round of 16 last year and were ousted in the opening round. Toppenish will have to go on a run here in league play and could still make a run. Zillah needs to bounce back after dropping to LaSalle.
The #1 RPI team resides in the SW Washington Trico league Seton Catholic where the Cougars are 5-0, 2-0. S-C has beaten 2A Rochester who is on a big turn-around themselves and took out 1A #10 RPI Life Christian Academy. La Center who is consistently in the postseason but has been a while since they nmade a deep run into late November may be getting geared up for such a move as the Wildcats are also 5-0 and 1-0 in league. They check in as the #6 RPI team. Those two have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the Trico.
That is the quick look at all the 1A leagues and certainly a team not mentioned could still make a run. Do remember the standings are tabulated through the arbiter network which the officials enter the final score. Sometimes the scores are accidently entered incorrectly and not all the mistakes are noticed right away. The WIAA is encouraging each AD to check their scores and standings to make sure they are correct.
Also remember there is always a lot of hoot and hollerin’ about the RPI standings but these standings are meant to be a season long measurement so look for big changes and swings still to come, this is where they are right now based on the criteria fed into the computers that spit out the rankings.
Looks to us like there is a lot to be excited about for the stretch run of the football season so buckle up and enjoy the ride!
*Note the standings are as presented there may be some mistakes but the standings are part of the WIAA’s effort to launch a statewide standings, schedules and results website. It was launched this last summer and they continue to work on it but there are some mistakes that we have noticed and have passed on to the WIAA. Overall, it is a huge step in the right direction of trying to once and for collect all the basic information on one site.