The school’s soccer team is the top-seed and the baseball team is the No. 2 seed
The last time the WIAA had state tournaments for spring sports, the Columbia River Rapids did not exist.
Gotta go back to 2019. That is when Columbia River finished second in the Class 2A state boys soccer tournament, falling to Sehome in the championship match.
Also that year, the Columbia River baseball team reached the state quarterfinals before losing to, interestingly enough, Sehome.
In 2020, when they were still called the Chieftains, Columbia River baseball and boys soccer returned a ton of talent. Both teams were considered THE favorites as the squads prepared for the spring campaign. No sure things in sports, but those teams were loaded.
Just days before the spring sports season started, though, the world stopped for the pandemic.
The world has changed a lot since then, too. The Chieftains are no more. The Rapids have arrived.
One thing that has not changed. Columbia River remains a power in baseball and boys soccer.
The state soccer playoffs begin this week, and district champion Columbia River has earned a No. 1 seed. (That’s another thing that has changed since 2019: Seeding for all state tournaments.) The Rapids will face W.F. West, the 16-seed, at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kiggins Bowl in the first round.
Columbia River baseball, after winning a district championship over the weekend, is the No. 2 seed in the state. The Rapids will face Steilacoom at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Propstra Stadium in Vancouver in the first round. The winner of that game will play again in the afternoon in the quarterfinals. The Columbia River baseball team is trying to reach the final four for the first time since 2010.
“We are pretty darn excited about both of those district titles and the seeds,” said Nick Davies, the athletic director at Columbia River.
He noted he liked the paths in the playoffs, as well, with soccer getting a home match (and two if the Rapids win in the first round) and the baseball team playing its state regionals at Propstra Stadium.
Expect a lot of River fans to be there.
“That was the buzz in school today,” Davies said. “Teachers, other adults, kids … everyone was talking about how spring sports was looking great for Columbia River. It was the main topic of conversation. Everybody was coming up to me, asking me about soccer and baseball. It’s pretty fun right now.”
Columbia River teams, at No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in their sports, lead the way in the two traditional team sports that start state competition this week. (Softball teams will earn spots to state tournaments this week.)
Sports with individual champions (track and field, golf, tennis) are holding qualifying competitions for state this week, as well. All state competitions in all sports culminate May 24 through May 28.
Of course, there are several other baseball and boys soccer teams from the county, as well.
The Union Titans are the No. 2 seed in 4A boys soccer and will host Kamiak at 5 p.m. Wednesday at McKenzie Stadium. Camas, the No. 9 seed, travels to Spokane to take on Lewis and Clark at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Gonzaga Prep.
There are no 3A teams from the county that made it to state.
Fort Vancouver is celebrating its first trip to state soccer since 1988. The Trappers, in Class 2A now, got the No. 14 seed and will travel to Yakima to take on East Valley on Wednesday. Columbia River, as noted, is the top seed.
In 1A, Seton Catholic is the No. 5 seed. The Cougars will take on University Prep in Wenatchee on Friday. (Class 1A soccer, because of its 20-team bracket, will have play-in matches Tuesday, followed by the traditional first round on Friday and the quarterfinals on Saturday.)
The Camas Papermakers were the only survivor from the tough Class 4A Greater St. Helens League to make it to state. They are the No. 9 seed and will take on Issaquah at 10 a.m. Saturday in Lacey in the first round. A win there would put them in the quarterfinals later that day.
There are no Clark County teams in the 3A state tournament.
Columbia River is the lone 2A representative from the county at state.
Two teams from the county made it to Class 1A’s tournament.
La Center, the district champions, got the No. 7 seed and will take on Royal at 10 a.m. Saturday in Anacortes. The winner will play in the quarterfinals later that day.
King’s Way Christian, the No. 9 seed, will face Naches Valley at 10 a.m. Saturday in Mount Vernon. The winner will play in the quarterfinals later that day.