Class 3A football teams attempting to close gap on Mountain View

An introduction to ClarkCountyToday’s series of 3A Greater St. Helens League previews.

Thunder appear ready to defend title and make deep run into the playoffs

Paul Valencia
Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia
ClarkCountyToday.com

A year ago, it was Mountain View and everybody else.

Going into this year, it’s Mountain View and … hey, it’s still Mountain View but it appears other teams just might be getting closer.

The Thunder, with an experienced offensive line and a strong defense returning for 2017, expect to go deep into the playoffs.

Other teams, though, expect to give Mountain View a bit more competition.

A year ago, Kelso finished second in the league with a 4-1 mark and came closest to topping Mountain View.

The Thunder’s motto: To the Top. As in the top of the standings. They expect to be there again this season. Photo by Paul Valencia
The Thunder’s motto: To the Top. As in the top of the standings. They expect to be there again this season. Photo by Paul Valencia

Then there was a three-way tie for third place. Evergreen would get the third playoff berth with a victory in the tiebreaker. Evergreen, Prairie and Hudson’s Bay all expect to improve this season. So yes, something will have to give. If Mountain View remains the class of the Class 3A GSHL, only two of those next five teams can join the Thunder in the postseason.

ClarkCountyToday.com reporter Paul Valencia previews all 18 of Clark County’s high school football teams this week with the assistance of photographer/videographer Mike Schultz. On Tuesday, we begin the series with a look at the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League teams. Checkback in coming days for the previews of Class 3A and 2A GSHL and Class 1A Trico League teams as we prepare you for the 2017 high school football season.
Click to view all previews.

As far as Fort Vancouver is concerned, look for a better product on the field. The Trappers might not be ready to compete for a playoff berth yet, but things are changing.

ClarkCountyToday.com will have stories on all 18 Clark County football teams, along with schedules and team outlooks. On Tuesday, we had the 4A GSHL. Today, in alphabetical order, we present to you the Clark County squads of the 3A GSHL:

  • Evergreen’s Nadil Hodzic broke out from the pack last season and was all-league. He hopes to lead Evergreen to a break-out season this fall.
  • Fort Vancouver has a new coach and a new philosophy: Ezekiel Block wants to change the program’s perception to one of positivity and sportsmanship.
  • Hudson’s Bay is coming off its first winning season in 14 years. Some might still think of the Eagles as underdogs, and that’s just fine with them.
  • Mountain View won the league title easily last year and returns an experienced offensive line that is all about building a family bond within the team.
  • Prairie is in for the biggest change from one year to the next, completely overhauling its offense to become more pass-friendly.

Look for the previews of the 2A GSHL, and Class 1A Trico League football teams in the coming days.

Click images below to view team stories:

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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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