Well the wailing and complaining and griping about the job of the WIAA’s high school football seeding committee is nearly over; tonight the ball will be in the air and then the road to a state championship begins for real. Week number 11 of the high school football season, and that means it’s the 4A Football Regionals; tonight it’s the 8-9, middle of the bracket game between the Bothell Cougars and the Glacier Peak Grizzlies at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. Kickoff is at 7 pm.
By the way, let’s not kid ourselves, the complaining about the seedings and the match-ups will happen all the way up to when one teams hoists the trophy with the big golden football high in the air.
The winner of this game will advance to the 4A state quarterfinals next weekend against the winner of the matchup between #16 Kentwood and #1 seed Graham-Kapowsin; that game is happening tonight at Art Crate Stadium in Spanaway. Of the 40 playoff games across 6 classifications, 15 are being played tonight.
Like the Skyline Spartans that Glacier Peak faced a week ago, the Bothell Cougars compete in that very tough Kingco Conference. Bothell pretty much ran roughshod over their entire regular season opponents; going 8-0 before losing to Eastlake in the Kingco Title Game two weeks ago 21-3. Bothell defeated Bellarmine Prep last Saturday 24-6 in the quad-district round of 32 game. The seeding committee designated the Cougars as the #9 seed, thus the reason they’re here on the road in the regionals. Bothell is #3 on the RPI register.
Some names will be familiar that have come from the Bothell football program over the past decade or so; including All-Pro Rams punter Johnny Hekker; you remember him, he threw a touchdown pass against the Seahawks a few years ago. Besides punting, Hekker was quarterback at Bothell. Jacob Sirmon is another name; he’s among that group of quarterbacks that went to the University of Washington; saw the line of quarterbacks in front him and transferred to Central Michigan.
The current batch of Bothell Cougars include the leading rusher in the Kingco League junior Bryce Kooy and the 4th leading passer in the league in senior Logan Lacio.
Glacier Peak entered the post-season with two losses during the regular season, to Lake Stevens and to Marysville Pilchuck; but those losses were apparently of a quality that the seeding committee decided that the Grizzlies deserved a #8 ranking and got a home game in the opening round of the state playoffs. If the Grizzlies win tonight, they will head out on the road next week, after playing at Veterans Memorial Stadium for 3 weeks in a row. GP opened the post-season with what became a convincing 49-21 win over the Skyline Spartans. Seven different Grizzlies scored touchdowns in that game; Skyline, in fact, took the initial lead in the game, before Glacier Peak rattled off 35 straight points. Quarterback River Lien and runningback Trey Leckner led the way for GP; they were missing a key part of the Grizzlies offense with future Oregon State Beaver Cooper Jensen sitting out with a groin injury.
LOCAL TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS THIS WEEK:
4A REGIONALS: Bothell Cougars at Glacier Peak Grizzlies; Friday, 7:00 pm at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. Richland Bombers at Lake Stevens Vikings; Saturday, 5:00 pm at Lake Stevens High School.
3A REGIONALS: Mount Spokane Wildcats at Arlington Eagles; Saturday, 1:00 pm at John C. Larson Stadium in Arlington. Garfield Bulldogs at Marysville Pilchuck Tomahawks; Saturday, 7:00 pm at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville.
1A REGIONALS: Zillah Leopards at King’s Knights; Saturday, 2:00 pm at Woolsey Stadium in Shoreline.
High School Football on KRKO AM 1380 & FM 95.3; streaming live at www.krko.com and on the KRKO Phone App. Tom Lafferty, coach Joel Vincent and Steve Willits will have the call on Friday night, 6:30 pm Pregame Show; 7:00 pm Kick-Off, live from Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish.