Trico League: Small schools, big dreams

La Center believes it can make another final four run, or beyond, while other teams look to improve.

Paul Valencia
Paul Valencia
Reporter

Paul Valencia
ClarkCountyToday.com

It’s sports. Anything can happen, right? There are no sure things.

All true.

Still, it would be difficult to see anyone from the Trico League beating La Center this year. Not that it can’t be done.

White Salmon could be the team to do it, right?

Castle Rock? Scored 20 on La Center last year, so it’s possible, right?

Stevenson? Improved, but maybe not ready to conquer La Center.

What about the private schools, King’s Way Christian and Seton Catholic? This year, both schools are trying to build their own programs instead of combining talents.

OK, so looking at that list, it is no surprise just about everyone believes La Center is the top of the league.

After all, the Wildcats won 11 games in a row last year. They fell in Week 1 game against Class 2A Greater St. Helens League champion Hockinson, then did not lose again until the 1A state semifinals in Week 13

With 25 seniors equipped with the experience of last year’s trip to the Class 1A state playoffs, La Center appears to not only be one of the teams to watch in the Trico League but the entire state as well. Photo by Mike Schultz
With 25 seniors equipped with the experience of last year’s trip to the Class 1A state playoffs, La Center appears to not only be one of the teams to watch in the Trico League but the entire state as well. Photo by Mike Schultz

Plus, the team returns six all-league players and has 25 seniors. Yes, 25 seniors for a Class 1A program, the most coach John Lambert has had in his 18 seasons at La Center.

No sure things in sports. But it would be a stunner if La Center was not the league champion in 2017.

Here are a few more storylines from the Clark County schools in the Trico League.

  • King’s Way Christian has a new coach and a young team. The Knights are getting to know each other, trust each other, in hopes of creating a lifetime bond, not just a football bond.
  • La Center’s Jackson Leslie is one of a few four-year starters for the Wildcats. He is like a coach on the field.
  • Seton Catholic is home. The Cougars have a school of their own, a field of their own, and, after a one-year break, a program of their own. They will play an independent schedule this season.

The La Center Wildcats go into the 2017 season as the team to beat in the Trico League. The Wildcats reached the Class 1A state semifinals a year ago, and that was with a team loaded with juniors.

First-year King’s Way Christian coach Tom Schroeder refuses to call this a rebuilding year for his Knights, who hope to compete in the Class 1A Trico League.

After combining with King’s Way Christian last year, Seton Catholic’s players feel blessed to be playing football for their own high school in 2017.

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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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