The fall sports season is winding down, and now, football is the only game in town. Fortunately for fans of the Enumclaw Hornets, their team is still in the championship hunt.
Last weekend, state volleyball and soccer tournaments wrapped up and football’s Class 2A semifinal pairings were decided. Teams from Enumclaw High were involved in all three sports and White River was in the state volleyball mix.
Here’s how things played out for the Plateau programs.
It will be a clash of the titans Saturday when Enumclaw and Lynden square off in the state Class 2A football semifinals.
Back in early September, 63 teams kicked off the prep season and now, a dozen weeks later, the Hornets and Lions are the only two with unbeaten records.
Saturday’s game will kick off at 5 p.m. at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. One team will advance to the 2A finals, to be played at 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Enumclaw enters the state semifinal game with a season record of 12-0 and is the No. 4 seed into postseason play, according to the WIAA’s Ratings Percentage Index. Lynden is 11-0 and is seeded No. 1.
Enumclaw earned its Final Four spot on Nov. 19 with a 20-17 victory over the Othello Huskies. Lynden advanced to the semifinals with a 42-13 romp over Highline High.
The victor in the Enumclaw/Lynden showdown will play for the state 2A title against the winner of a semifinal showdown between No. 2 W.F. West and No. 3 North Kitsap.
During their quarterfinal contest against Othello – staged at a sunny-but-chilly Enumclaw Expo Center – the Hornets found themselves in a rather strange position: the Huskies cracked the scoreboard first, something unheard of for a Hornet group that took the field averaging more than 43 points per outing.
Having given up a first-quarter touchdown, Enumclaw posted the equalizer midway through the second period. A 12-play, 72-yard drive was capped when Emmit Otero scored on a 5-yard run. Othello blocked the extra-point kick, just as Enumclaw had done earlier, and the score sat at 6-6.
Things stood that way until the closing seconds of the first half when EHS quarterback Gunnar Trachte connected with Karson Holt from three yards out. This time the PAT was good and the Hornets took a 13-6 lead into intermission.
Othello, which brought a 9-1 record to the Expo Center, added a field goal in the third quarter to cut the margin to 13-9.
That set up a dramatic conclusion which saw Enumclaw extend its margin thanks to a long scoring drive that covered 80 yards and 14 plays, including a fourth-down quarterback sneak by Trachte that netted a few very-necessary inches.
A couple of plays later Trachte connected with Colton Paulson for a 10-yard TD. Seabrands made it a 20-9 game with his second extra-point kick.
After the teams traded fumbles, Othello made things a bit interesting with a touchdown as the game clock slipped just under the one-minute mark. A two-point conversion was successful, bring the score to 20-17 and setting up an onside kick attempt.
Enumclaw’s Mason Taylor-Wells smothered the kick to give the Hornets possession of the ball and, after a couple of kneel-down plays, the victory.
The Enumclaw Hornets walked off with fourth-place honors at the conclusion of the state’s Class 2A soccer tournament.
A total of 61 teams competed this fall to make the state tourney. Sixteen achieved that goal and EHS was one of just four still standing prior to games of last weekend.
The elite Final Four gathered for games Friday and Saturday at Shoreline Stadium.
Enumclaw’s shot at a state title disappeared with a 2-0 loss Friday night to the Sehome Mariners, a Bellingham school from the Northwest Conference. The following afternoon, the Hornets fell 3-1 to Tumwater (Evergreen 2A League) in the game that decided third and fourth place. In their final contest of the season, the Hornets fell behind 3-0 by halftime; the team’s only goal of the game, and the final tally of the season, was scored in the 74th minute by senior co-captain Heidi Sholseth.
Enumclaw entered the state tourney seeded ninth among the 16 teams; Sehome was No. 4 and Tumwater was No. 2.
The Hornets reached the Final Four with a tourney-opening victory over R.A. Long and a quarterfinal win against Hockinson.
Coach Shawn Tobius and his squad finished the season with an overall record of 16-7-1.
Coach Jackie Carel and her Enumclaw High volleyball squad spent two days at the Yakima Valley SunDome, competing in the state Class 2A tournament.
When the dust had settled, the Hornets had earned one victory but absorbed two losses, knocking them from trophy contention.
During Friday’s opening round of state matches, EHS (seeded No. 7 in the 16-team tournament) was paired against No. 10 North Kitsap. The Hornets advanced into the winner’s bracket with a 3-1 victory over the Vikings. Final set scores were 22-25, 25-7, 25-20, 25-19.
A second match on Friday had the Hornets taking the court against the eventual tourney champions from Columbia River High. The Vancouver school blanked EHS 25-15, 25-14, 25-10.
In a loser-out contest Saturday, Enumclaw squared off against a familiar foe, Washington High. The teams had already met three times during the season – twice in regular-season play and once in the league tourney – with Washington taking victories each time. Saturday was no different, but Enumclaw pushed the Patriots to the limit before falling 3-2.
Enumclaw finished the season with an overall record of 15-6.
One victory was sandwiched between a pair of losses for the White River High girls, who competed last weekend at the state’s Class 2A volleyball tournament.
Coach Gressa Dolan and her squad had advanced to the 16-team tourney in the Yakima Valley SunDome following the regular South Puget Sound League 2A season and a district tournament.
The Hornets (seeded No. 8) opened Friday with a tough match against the No. 9 Pullman Greyhounds who compete in the 2A division of the Greater Spokane League. After winning the first two games White River dropped the next three and fell into the loser’s bracket.
That brought a measure of success, as the Hornets defeated Black Hills 25-17, 21-25, 25-19, 25-13. Moving on to Saturday play needing a victory to stay alive, White River was blanked in three straight games by Longview’s Mark Morris High.
The tournament capped a successful season in which White River placed second in the SPSL 2A standings with a 14-2 record.