State football: History lesson for the four Clark County teams still playing

Camas, Hockinson, Ridgefield, and Skyview have had success in the past in state playoffs

Let’s talk history.

There are four Clark County high school football teams in the WIAA state playoffs. One plays Friday night, while the other three have Saturday games.

Here is the schedule, plus the history of each program in the state playoffs.

The Camas Papermakers won the program’s second state championship in 2019. Camas is one of four Clark County teams that have made it to the state playoffs this season. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Camas Papermakers won the program’s second state championship in 2019. Camas is one of four Clark County teams that have made it to the state playoffs this season. Photo by Mike Schultz

Friday

No. 9 Enumclaw vs. No. 8 Hockinson, 7 p.m. at District Stadium in Battle Ground

Hockinson’s long reign atop the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League came to an end this season thanks to Ridgefield. However, do not make the mistake of counting out the Hawks. This program understands playoff football.

After losses to two of the top-five teams in Class 2A this year, the Hawks reeled off seven consecutive wins to reach the state playoffs for the fourth year in a row and sixth in the past seven seasons. (Not including the year with no state playoffs, of course.)

The Hawks won back-to-back state championships in 2017 and 2018 and then reached the semifinals in 2019. 

Going into this year’s state bracket, the Hawks are a combined 12-3 in their five previous appearances.

According to Washington Interscholastic Activities Association archives, this is Enumclaw’s first trip to state since 1995. Enumclaw has not won a state playoff game since 1985.

The winner of Friday’s game likely will have to take on top-ranked Tumwater in the second round. Hockinson lost to Tumwater in the 2019 semifinals. 

Saturday

No. 12 Orting at No. 5 Ridgefield, 5 p.m. at Ridgefield High School

The Spudders have to be more than a little miffed at getting the No. 5 seed. A 10-0 record, and a league title from the league that has sent its champion to at least the final four in each of the last three seasons.

The seeding means that should Ridgefield win this week, this will be the only home game for the Spudders. (Even if, say, the No. 13 seeds stuns the No. 4 seed, the WIAA does not give the best seed the home game after the first round. The home game goes to whichever team is on the bottom of the bracket. The winner of the 13-4 game will be home in the second round.)

No matter the seed, good teams get over it and win. That has to be the mindset for the Spudders. If they feel they are a top-four program, well, they have a chance to prove it.

As far as the program’s history, Southwest Washington football fans should always remember Ridgefield. Evergreen got the region’s first big-school state title. Since then, Camas has won twice, Union has won once, and for smaller schools, you’ve got the back-to-back Hockinson titles.

The first one from Clark County to the championship party? That would be Ridgefield in 1995. 

Unfortunately for the program, that was also the last time Ridgefield won a state playoff game. 

The Spudders reached state in 2019, though. So this gives the program back-to-back appearances. 

In all, Ridgefield is 5-6 in a total of seven appearances. 

Orting has a long history of appearances but it’s been a while. This is Orting’s first state playoff game since 2014. The program has not won a state playoff game since 2005. In all, Orting is 6-15 in 15 appearances. 

The winner of the Orting-Ridgefield game will take on the winner of No. 13 Highline vs. No. 4 Squalicum.

No. 12 Puyallup at No. 5 Camas, 5:30 p.m. at Doc Harris Stadium 

The 6-4 Camas Papermakers got a No. 5 seed, surprising many throughout the state. The committee clearly took into account the incredibly tough schedule, the six-game winning streak, the 4A GSHL title, AND Camas’ history.

All that together equals plenty of respect.

Some of our colleagues across the state have made fun of my description of Camas as the defending champions. And, sure, I acknowledge it is fun to stir the pot. But honestly, who else is the defending Class 4A champion? Has anyone else won the 4A Washington state title since Camas accomplished the feat in 2019? So as long as this year’s Papermakers are playing, they are the defending champs. Even if this year’s seniors were sophomores back then.

Camas, as you know, has been a fixture at state for most this century. This is the program’s 14th appearance since 2003. The Papermakers won it all in 2019 and 2016 and lost in the championship game in 2013. Camas is 17-11 in the previous 13 appearances.

This is Puyallup’s fourth consecutive state playoff appearance. The Vikings reached the semifinals in 2018 and the quarterfinals in 2019. In all, Puyallup is 20-16 in 17 previous appearances, including a championship in 1987.

The winner of the Puyallup-Camas game will be on the road against the winner of No. 13 North Creek vs. No. 4 Kamiakin.

No. 10 Skyview vs. No. 7 Sumner, 7 p.m. at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner

The Storm (8-2) finished second in the 4A GSHL, a 10-point loss in a defensive battle against the No. 5 seed Camas. The Storm advanced to state with another Week 10 playoff victory. The program is now 12-2 in Week 10 games to advance to state.

The Storm are 8-11 in the previous 11 state playoff appearances. The team reached the state semifinals in 2016 and reached the championship game in 2011.

Sumner is back in the state playoffs for the first time since back-to-back semifinal appearances in 2016 and 2017. Sumner has won two state titles, back in 1975 and 1977. In all, Sumner is 16-9 in 11 previous appearances.  

The winner of the Skyview-Sumner game will be on the road against the winner of No. 15 Eastmont vs. No. 2 Eastlake. 

Note: Tickets for the first two rounds of the state football playoffs are $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens.

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