3A GSHL football notes: Top moments for Mountain View, Hudson’s Bay

Plus playoff information for Prairie and Evergreen

In all, there are 11 teams from Clark County that have made it to Week 10 playoff games, including two from the 3A Greater St. Helens League. 

This week, I will be highlighting the teams that did not make the playoffs with their best moments of the year.

Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got the basic playoff information here, as well. 

Still, let’s also give a salute to every football team as another regular season has come to a conclusion.

Today, the 3A GSHL:

MOUNTAIN VIEW THUNDER (6-3, 2-2 3A GSHL)

This is a compliment to the Mountain View Thunder football program: Just about everyone is shocked that the Thunder are not in the playoffs. It is a testament to the program, in fact, that so many people are surprised. 

Quarterback Riley McCarthy helped Mountain View to its 11th winning regular season in the past 12 seasons. Photo by Mike Schultz
Quarterback Riley McCarthy helped Mountain View to its 11th winning regular season in the past 12 seasons. Photo by Mike Schultz

Let’s face it. Most teams that are finding 21 new starters are not penciled in as playoff-bound coming into a season. But so many just figured, hey, it’s Mountain View. 

And that, again, is a testament to how far this program has come in the past decade or so. Everyone just expects Mountain View to win.

Well, this Mountain View team did win. A 6-3 mark makes for the 11th time ine past 12 seasons that the Thunder have had a winning regular season.

Best moment: We’re going back to Week 6. The Prairie Falcons were undefeated. The Mountain View Thunder were still defending league champions. The Thunder prevailed, in dramatic fashion.

Kyle Chen, a freshman, intercepted a Prairie pass at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds to secure a 23-22 win.

It was a battle for the ball. The two players wrestled for it in the air. When they came to the turf, there was a slight delay as officials conferred to determine if Prairie or Mountain View had the ball.

First down Mountain View. 

Perhaps the biggest reason we picked this play as the team’s best moment of the year: A freshman, playing clutch-time varsity minutes. That’s right. This Mountain View team was so young, so inexperienced. But the future remains strong. Freshmen were getting experience on a team that went 6-3.

HUDSON’S BAY (2-7, 0-4 3A GSHL)

The Eagles had a tough year in 2018 and a tougher one in 2019. This does not mean the Eagles are slipping back to down-for-years status. No way. Remember, the Eagles had back-to-back winning seasons in 2016 and 2017. 

The record this year reflects what often happens to the non-traditional powers. There are up years; there are down years. But no one associated with Bay football believes the down years will stay down. Not anymore.

Best moment: The Eagles picked up their first win against Franklin of Oregon, but we’re going to go with another game. And even though it was pretty much a guaranteed win, the Eagles did more than just win on the scoreboard in the Peace Pipe Game against Fort Vancouver. The Eagles and Trappers put on an incredible display of sportsmanship. The final score was 27-13. 

There was no reason to run up the score, or try to do anything fancy. The Eagles played their neighbors. Yes, a rivalry game, but a friendly rivalry. Both programs understand the predicament that Fort is in right now. It wasn’t too long ago that boy Bay and Fort struggled to stay competitive. No doubt in my mind that the Eagles could have scored more on this night. Instead, the Eagles and Trappers celebrated football and community. 

FORT VANCOUVER (1-8)

The Trappers went with an independent schedule this year. They were looking for wins, for sure. More importantly, they were looking to compete.

Well, one win did happen. And it was worthy of celebration. More importantly, though, the Trappers found out about competition. They fell a yard short of possibly tying the game against Seton Catholic. They were tied in the fourth quarter with Ilwaco. Then, in Week 8, they broke through for a victory, ending a 29-game losing streak.

Best moment: You think we’ll go with the win? Nah.

The best day for Fort Vancouver, at least the Fort Vancouver community, was Week 9. The Trappers hosted a varsity football game … on campus. It was the first true home game for Fort Vancouver in its current location. Remember, Fort usually uses Kiggins Bowl as its home turf. But now Fort has a football field. Not really a stadium yet, but a few hundred people filled some bleachers and brought their own chairs to watch the Trappers play on a Saturday afternoon.

Cannot confirm for certain, but word is this was the first true home game for the program since the 1950s. It is believed the team started playing at Kiggins Bowl in the mid 1950s. To see more of this great atmosphere from Week 9, click on this link. The Fort Vancouver feature starts at around the 2:45 mark. 


Now to the Week 10 playoffs. For previews of all teams, go to Cascadia Preps: 

https://247sports.com/high-school/washington/Article/2019-3A-Week-Ten-Game-Schedule-Notes-138130948/

Prairie (8-1, 3-1 3A GSHL)

Opponent: Capital (3-6)

Time/Day/Place: 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium in Battle Ground

Notes: The Prairie Falcons are the No. 1 seed from the 3A Greater St. Helens League. And for our Falcon friends out there, I’m going to write that sentence again. The Prairie Falcons are the No. 1 seed from the 3A Greater St. Helens League.

Prairie quarterback A.J. Dixson became one of the most dynamic players in the region this season, leading the Falcons to a 3A GSHL title. Photo by Mike Schultz
Prairie quarterback A.J. Dixson became one of the most dynamic players in the region this season, leading the Falcons to a 3A GSHL title. Photo by Mike Schultz

Yeah, kind of a big deal. First league title since 1992. 

The Week 10 playoffs have been kind to the league champions in recent years. Prairie is looking to make it to state for the first time since that 1992 season.

A win would also match the school record for wins in a season. The 1985 squad went 9-2. 

Evergreen (5-4 overall, 2-2 3A GSHL)

Opponent: Garfield (4-4)

Time/day/place: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium in Seattle

Notes: Do not be fooled by Garfield’s record.  Three of those losses have come against teams ranked in the top four teams in the state. … Win or lose for Evergreen, this has been an incredible season. The Plainsmen earned a winning regular season for the first time since 2008. Evergreen’s last playoff appearance was in 2016. 

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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