The Lakewood High School football team won its first-round playoff game without ever setting foot on the field.
Cougars coach Dan Teeter announced Monday that Anacortes has forfeited its Class 2A Northwest/Sea-King Bi-District playoff game against Lakewood that was scheduled for Friday night in Arlington.
Anacortes athletic director Erik Titus confirmed the forfeit and cited player-safety concerns as the reason. He said the winless Seahawks had been suiting up less than 20 players on varsity, and that they suffered injuries to multiple key players in last Friday night’s loss to Blaine.
“Obviously, when you get to that number, you can’t afford any injuries,” Titus said. “Those injuries were significant enough for us to take a look at the ultimate filter, (which) is player safety.”
Titus said the Anacortes coaching staff discussed the situation over the weekend before making a final decision Monday afternoon, after meeting with their players.
“To go forward and play a game would not be in the best interests our of kids,” Titus said.
Teeter said Anacortes coach Chris Hunter first informed him Sunday about the possibility of a forfeit.
“We respect it,” Teeter said. “You’ve got to look out for your player safety.”
Anacortes (0-9) finished last in the six-team Northwest 2A Lake Division and was outscored by 28 points per game this season. The Seahawks were the lowest seed in the 12-team bi-district playoffs. Titus said Anacortes will not schedule a game next week, meaning the Seahawks’ season is over.
The forfeit advances fifth-seeded Lakewood (4-4) to the Week 10 playoffs, where the Cougars face a Northwest 2A Sky Division team in a winner-to-state contest.
“Certainly we wanted to play the game, if at all possible,” Teeter said. “So we were hoping that we would hear from (Anacortes) on Monday that they were ready to go.
“Obviously, that’s not what they thought was in the best interest for their kids and their program, and so we’re going to move forward and plan for our game two weeks from now.”
LHS Football update: Anacortes has forfeited our game this Friday so there will be no game at LHS this week. Our next game will be a playoff game on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:00 PM, most likely at Burlington-Edison. Winner goes to State. Loser is out.
— Dan Teeter (@Coach_Teeter) October 23, 2018