It seems Snohomish County high school football observers are putting their greatest faith in the Vikings.
The high school football state tournaments begin this weekend, with the top 16 teams in each classification (except 1B) bidding for the title of state champion. Four Snohomish County teams — Lake Stevens in 4A, Marysville Pilchuck in 3A, Lakewood and Archbishop Murphy in 2A — are among those teams.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers which local team they believe has the best shot at winning a state championship. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Which of the four Snohomish County high school football teams that qualified for state has the best chance of winning a title? Full context, including a look at the teams and their paths, here: https://t.co/XJybsrCUIw
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) November 11, 2019
Add the two polls together and it’s a landslide. Seventy percent of the responders said Lake Stevens has the best chance to claim a state title. Archbishop Murphy was a distant second at 13 percent, Marysville Pilchuck received 9 percent and Lakewood took 8 percent.
There are two factors which I believe gave the Vikings such a large majority of the vote.
First, Lake Stevens is really good. The Vikings are undefeated at 10-0, they are the top-ranked team in the state according to the Associated Press, they finished as state runners-up last year, and they have NCAA Division I-caliber players in the likes of Kasen Kinchen, Joe Gonzales, Logan Bruce and the recently-returned Devin Kylany. As a result Lake Stevens, at No. 3 in 4A, is the highest seed from the area.
Second, Lake Stevens is the largest school among those that qualified for state. Therefore, the Vikings have more backers to participate in a poll than the other schools. To be fair, I believe this is the far lesser factor of the two.
Archbishop Murphy coming in second is a bit of a surprise, considering the Wildcats have the lowest seed among the four teams (2A No. 8) and lost to Lakewood when the teams faced one another during the regular season. Perhaps it was a case of pedigree winning out, as Archbishop Murphy has a rich history of football success, including three state titles, the most recent coming just three years ago.
Since all four local teams are among the top-eight seeds, they all host home games this weekend. Lake Stevens welcomes defending state champ Union on Saturday at 1 p.m., Marysville Pilchuck (3A No. 6) takes on Prairie on Friday at 6 p.m., while Lakewood (2A No. 5) hosts Sequim and Archbishop Murphy faces North Kitsap with both games on Friday at 7 p.m.
And we’ll get our first look at which Snohomish County team appears most worthy of winning a state title.