Lake Stevens is one of four Snohomish County high schools that qualified for the football state tournaments, which begin this weekend. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lake Stevens is one of four Snohomish County high schools that qualified for the football state tournaments, which begin this weekend. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

POLL: Which local football team has the best shot at state?

Four Snohomish County high schools qualified for the state tournaments, which start this weekend.

The race to the Gridiron Classic begins now.

The high school state tournaments kick off this weekend as Washington’s top football teams target the Dec. 7 championship date — though no longer at the Tacoma Dome. This year’s Gridiron classic has been moved from the singular location to three sites in and around Tacoma, with 4A and 1B at Mt. Tahoma Stadium, 3A and 2A at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, and 1A and 2B at Henry F. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

Four Snohomish County teams qualified for the state tournaments: Lake Stevens in 4A, Marysville Pilchuck in 3A, Lakewood and Archbishop Murphy in 2A. Let’s take a closer look at the teams and their paths:

CLASS 4A

Lake Stevens

Seed: No. 3

Record: 10-0, first in Wesco 4A, No. 1 in Associated Press poll (all 12 first-place votes)

First-round opponent: No. 14 Union (6-4, third in Greater St. Helens League 4A, unranked in AP poll)

First-round notes: This was funny seeding by the committee, as it pits the two teams that played in last year’s state championship game, which Union won 52-20. Lake Stevens has swept all before it this season, and the Vikings haven’t been challenged since Sept. 13 when they beat 3A No. 3 seed Lincoln 35-26 on the road. The Vikings easily handled Tahoma 49-14 in Week 10, but Union also had an easy time last week as it crushed North Puget Sound League champ Mount Rainier 42-6.

Path: If Lake Stevens gets past Union in has a standard path forward, with a possible meeting with No. 6 seed Chiawana (AP No. 6) in the quarterfinals and one of No. 2 seed Camas (AP No. 3) and No. 7 Puyallup (AP No. 5) in the semifinals — the most dangerous opponent, top-seeded Kennedy Catholic (AP No. 2), is in the other half of the bracket. The one tricky issue is that the way the bracket is set up the Vikings would have to go on the road in the semis.

CLASS 3A

Marysville Pilchuck

Seed: No. 6

Record: 10-0, first in Wesco 3A North, No. 5 in AP poll

First-round opponent: No. 11 Prairie (9-1, first in Greater St. Helens League 3A, unranked in AP poll)

First-round notes: Marysville Pilchuck, a team that’s been on the rise as the season’s progressed, qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2013 by beating Ballard 28-25 in Week 10. But if the Tomahawks think they’ve been waiting a long time to get back to state they have nothing on Prairie, as the Falcons haven’t been to state since 1992. Prairie qualified by beating Capital 73-35 in Week 10.

Path: Marysville Pilchuck is home for the first round, but if the Tomahawks prevail against Prairie they’re hitting the road the rest of the way. The good news is top seed and AP No. 1 O’Dea is in the other half of the bracket. The bad news is No. 3 Lincoln (AP No. 3) is looming in the quarterfinals and either No. 2 Eastside Catholic (AP No. 2) or No. 7 Bellevue (AP No. 4) is likely waiting in the semis.

CLASS 2A

Lakewood

Seed: No. 5

Record: 8-1, second in Northwest 2A Sky Division, No. 6 in AP poll

First-round opponent: No. 12 Sequim (9-1, second in Olympic League 2A, unranked in AP poll)

First-round notes: Lakewood should be well prepared for the challenge of state as the Cougars’ Week 10 game was a hard-fought 14-10 victory over AP No. 10 Liberty. Lakewood is making its first state appearance since 2012. Sequim, which lost 49-12 to Steilacoom in the first round of state last year, defeated River Ridge 37-21 in Week 10 to make it back to state.

Archbishop Murphy

Seed: No. 8

Record: 7-2, fourth in Northwest 2A Sky Division, No. 5 in AP poll

First round opponent: No. 9 North Kitsap (8-2, first in Olympic League 2A, unranked in AP poll)

First-round notes: Archbishop Murphy is no stranger to the state tournament, having won state titles in 2002, 2003 and 2016. However the Wildcats, who beat AP No. 9 Sedro-Woolley 23-6 in Week 10, are returning to state after missing out last year. North Kitsap is making its sixth straight state appearance, but the Vikings lost in the first round in four of those previous five trips and were knocked out in the second round the other time. North Kitsap beat Fife 28-25 in Week 10.

Paths: Both Lakewood and Archbishop Murphy find themselves on the same side of the bracket, which one has to say is the tougher half. Lakewood is probably looking at AP No. 2 and defending state champion Hockinson if it reaches the quarterfinals, while Archbishop Murphy is staring at a likely date with top-seeded and AP No. 1 Tumwater if it makes the quarters. What it does, however, is set up a potential rematch of the exciting regular-season game between the Cougars and the Wildcats, which Lakewood won 35-27, in the semis.

So four local teams still in the hunt for a state title. Which of the four do you think has the best chance of lifting a championship trophy? Vote here:


Talk to us

More in Sports

Kenai Sinaphet takes the hand off from head coach, Dalton Schwetz, during practice Wednesday afternoon at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on August 17, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Fresh start’ for Marysville Pilchuck under new coach Schwetz

The Tomahawks begin practice without longtime coach Brandon Carson, who stepped down following last year’s playoff run.

Stanwood's Ryder Bumgarner rushes with yardage with Arlington's Trenton Lamie, left, closing in the third quarter Friday night at Stanwood High School on September 24, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep football: 5 storylines to watch this season

A look at some intriguing questions as local high school football practices get underway.

The Central Welding Supply 125, which serves as the season finale at Evergreen Speedway, will attempt to run on Saturday, after being bumped postponed last weekend due to weather.
Community roundup: ARCA West comes to Evergreen Speedway

Plus, a host of local collegians earn preseason honors, Jake Luton gets released by the Jaguars and more.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox fall to Canadians in slugfest

Everett loses 12-8 as the two teams combine for 30 hits.

Seattle Mariners' Cal Raleigh celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Raleigh homers twice, Mariners top Angels to complete sweep

Seattle hits four total home runs in an 11-7 win over Los Angeles.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn directs her team during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Las Vegas Aces, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Sam Morris)
Can 2nd-year coach Quinn lead Storm to 5th WNBA title?

Seattle’s postseason gets underway at home against Washington on Thursday night.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock (2) walks the sideline during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Carroll laments lost chance for Lock, Seahawks due to COVID

The QB will miss an opportunity to start Thursday’s preseason game after getting the virus for the second time.

People explore Everett Memorial Stadium’s new turf and track during an open house event Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett Memorial Stadium reopens with new-look field, track

The facility, which originally opened in 1947, underwent renovations this summer.

Angel of the Winds Arena stands ready and waiting Friday afternoon for Kraken fans to arrive for the preseason game against the Edmondton Oilers. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
Kraken’s new AHL affiliate set to play game in Everett

The Coachella Valley Firebirds take the ice at Angel of the Winds Arena on Oct. 28.

Most Read