La Center back in familiar postseason spot

Wildcats head into the playoffs on seven-game winning streak

La Center Wildcats (7-2, 4-0 Trico League)

Week 1: Hockinson 42, La Center 6
Week 2: Woodland 35, La Center 28
Week 3: La Center 35, Ridgefield 7
Week 4: La Center 30, Hoquiam 19
Week 5: La Center 56, King’s Way Christian 14
Week 6: La Center 64, Stevenson 32
Week 7: La Center 48, Burlington-Edison 20
Week 8: La Center 42, White Salmon 0
Week 9: La Center 30, Castle Rock 0
Next: Forks vs. La Center, 7 p.m. Friday at Woodland High School in district playoff, winner-to-state game

La Center is a title town:

John Lambert was looking back on his team’s results through the years and believes his Wildcats have only lost one league game the past seven seasons.

La Center coach John Lambert has his Wildcats back in the Class 1A playoffs. The Wildcats have only lost one Trico League game in the past seven years. Photo by Mike Schultz
La Center coach John Lambert has his Wildcats back in the Class 1A playoffs. The Wildcats have only lost one Trico League game in the past seven years. Photo by Mike Schultz

Count 2017 as another undefeated league schedule.

“It really is a reflection on the players and their commitment to excellence,” Lambert said. “It also is a reflection of the culture of the athletics and activities in our school, and the high expectations set by our athletic director Matt Cooke.”

La Center now has had league titles in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017.

Week 9 MVPs:

Lambert went with his quarterback for his MVP on offense. Hayden Williamson is “a coach on the field.” For defense, go with Tanner Dreyer who had two interceptions and was in on so many other plays.

Getting better and better:

La Center opened the season with a loss to the third-ranked Class 2A team in the state, Hockinson. The Wildcats followed that up with a close loss to Woodland, a team that tied for second in the 2A GSHL. Two losses against playoff-bound opponents.

Since then, it’s been all La Center. Seven wins in a row.

During that streak, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 305-92, an average of 43-13. La Center had back-to-back shutouts to conclude the regular season.


La Center has to “host” the game on a turf field, so the home playoff game against Forks will be played at Woodland High School on Friday.

“Forks is an improved team from last year,” Lambert said. “They have some physical players, including a 250-pound battering ram of a fullback. Our expectation is to play a fundamentally sound, aggressive game.”

Words do matter:

On a personal note, a thank you to Coach Lambert for wise word choices this week. He said “commitment to excellence.” And if you know me, anything that reminds me of Silver and Black will get in the report.


About The Author

Paul Valencia joins 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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