This week’s Rochester-Montesano Evergreen 1A League football showdown will be the second of three Thursday night games for the Bulldogs this season at Aberdeen’s Stewart Field.
There is no mystery why the Bulldogs are unable to play those games on Fridays. Stewart Field, Monte’s home away from home while the reconstruction of the fire-destroyed Rottle Field grandstand is being undertaken, is booked for Friday night Aberdeen High games those weeks.
Questions, however, have arisen as to why Montesano officials hadn’t rescheduled those contests for Saturdays.
While Stewart Field is often reserved for youth sports on Saturdays, the primary reason is Monte coach Terry Jensen’s preference for Thursday games.
The logistics of Saturday contests don’t work for the Bulldogs, Jensen explained.
“The main reason is it puts us way behind in preparation for the next week,” Jensen said. “When we play on Thursday, it allows our preparation to be as close to the same as playing on a Friday. When we play Saturday and then turn around and play Friday, the time the coaches have to prepare a game plan and scouting report becomes very condensed and almost unmanageable. You feel really rushed.”
In addition, the Friday practices prior to a Saturday game limits the coaches’ availability to scout future opponents.
Thursday’s game is assuredly a big one. Rochester has surprisingly emerged as the only remaining unbeaten team in Evergreen 1A League. The Warriors are 3-0 in league play, while Monte, Elma, Tenino and Forks each have one league loss.
Class 2B crossover
The Pacific League will have four state-eligible berths in District IV crossover playoffs next month, according to South Bend coach and athletic director Tom Sanchez.
Only the league champion is guaranteed a slot in the state 2B playoffs. The Pacific runner-up will host the sixth-place entry from the Central League, while the third and fourth seeds from each league will also collide in winner-to-state, loser-out district crossover games.
The winner of the Pacific 3-Central 4 game will have the dubious honor of traveling to Eastern Washington for its state opener.
If you were like some Aberdeen fans or officials or coaches over the weekend, you were poring through the high school football rule book to find what exactly was the offense the Bobcats committed to earn a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty that continued an eventual Mark Morris scoring drive in the third quarter.
As close as it can be, the rule is in the National Federation of State High School Association’s football rulebook as Rule 9-8-1k and 9-8-3. It reads: “No coach, substitute, athletic trainer or other team attendant shall act in an unsportsmanlike manner once the game officials assume authoriry for the contest. Examples are, but not limited to: k. Being outside of the team box, but not on the field.”
Rule 9-8-3 notes that “A non-player shall not be outside his team box unless to become a player or to return as a replaced player. A maximum of three coaches may be in the restricted area. No player, nonplayer or coach shall be in the restricted area when the ball is live.”
What happened was a sideline official and an AHS coach bumped into each other at the end of the fourth-down run by Mark Morris’ Hayden Tapani. The coach was standing on the chalk line that determines the team box when the “bump” occurred. The sideline official threw his flag and the Bobcats were given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
Going by the letter of the rule, there was an infraction. Enforcing the rule, however, may have been overstated by the sideline official. According to the rulebook, the penalties for violating those two rules are: first offense — warning; second offense — 5-yard penalty; third and subsequent offenses — 15-yard penalty. A 15-yard penalty could be enforced if the official believed the contact was intentional.
Aberdeen wasn’t given a warning, not one that the head referee noted to the entire stadium. However, if it was warned, there was no 5-yard penalty given to Aberdeen at any time prior to the violation. At best, the Bobcats should have been given a 5-yard penalty, which would not have given the Monarchs a first down and allowed them to score in the next play. At worst, well, you already know what happened.
State-ranked Raymond proved two points in its 28-6 victory over North Beach in a Pacific League showdown on Friday.
The first was that the Seagull defense is a match for its more renowned offense. The Gulls limited the state-ranked Hyaks to 73 yards of total offense — only nine of those coming in the second half.
The second is that the Gulls are capable of overcoming adversity.
They had plenty of the latter early in Friday’s contest. They lost two fumbles in the first 15 minutes and were socked for 41 yards in penalties in the opening quarter alone, including a block-in-the-back infraction that wiped Alex Sida’s 90-yard run for an apparent touchdown.
“That’s the thing I was probably most proud of,” Raymond coach Rob Clements said. “It seemed like everything tipped against us early and we were able to stem the tide.”
North Beach’s Pedro Gonzalez, meanwhile, delivered two NFL-caliber onside kicks. His kicks skittered along the soggy turf and took high hops hop perhaps 10 yards downfield on both occasions. Gonzalez has mastered that art on his own, according to Hyak coach Todd Bridge.
North Beach, however, was unable to recover either kick Friday as the Gulls outleaped and outwrestled the Hyaks for the free balls. It was that kind of night for the Hyaks.
Don Davison, the longtime Tacoma reporter who was considered by many to be the state’s most knowdgeable authority on high school sports, died last week at 77 following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Davison was the prep coordinator for the News-Tribune for 25 years. He retired from the newspaper as a copy editor in 2001 and later contributed to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s website.