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Play-ins, state playoffs soon fast upon us

Scappoose could win state football title, Tribe girls should win XC district


Post-season play will soon be here for many of the local sports teams. There’s a good chance for some to place at state or even win state titles, but others may finish up just as they are getting started.

In some ways we like the ranking system used by the Oregon School Activities Association, but find some of it hard to fathom. It’s all based on how a team does, plus how the teams they’ve played do, and how the teams those teams have played do. It can lend to some shake-your-head moments, but as they say—it is what it is.by: SELF-PORTRAIT - Sports Editor John Brewington

The 4A ranks have made leagues more important this year and we like that. It gives teams more of an idea on what they need to do to get into state. In the 5A ranks, it’s possible to win your league and still not get an automatic berth to state. It does lift up some teams in strong leagues, but punishes those in weaker leagues. In both systems, the teams you play in pre-season also have a very strong bearing on where you end up in the rankings.

Which local teams are going to the play-ins or directly to state this year?

In the Cowapa League, the Scappoose Indians football team has a chance to finish first for the first time in several years and go directly to the state 16-team bracket. They need to beat Astoria this Friday to guarantee it, but there are scenarios where even a loss leaves them No. 1. At the worst, Scappoose will host a play-in game on Nov. 2 or 3. If they win it, they will skip the play-in week and host a first-round state game on Nov. 9 or 10. Scappoose is ranked fourth currently and could have home games for at least the first round and perhaps further. They also have a chance to do quite well at state.

The Scappoose High girls’ soccer team is currently ranked second in the power rankings, and should stay in the top four. Having weak opponents in the last two rounds doesn’t help them in the rankings, but they should stay near the top. They will win league and skip the play-in round. They will host in the first state playoff game, and if they win they should also host in the quarterfinals. The play-in round is Nov. 3 and it’s likely the first state round will be on Nov. 6, although that’s just a guess based on past years.

The best shot for a St. Helens team to place at state has to be the Lady Lions volleyball team. They are currently second in league, right behind Sherwood. It’s hard to figure how they are behind Liberty in the standings, but they are. They should qualify to host a play-in match on Oct. 30—next Tuesday. If they win, they might possibly host another match, but it’s unlikely. The team has the potential to advance deep into the playoffs, all depending on how the bracket sorts itself out.

One Scappoose team that almost certainly will place in the top four at state is the Lady Indians cross country team. The squad won the 4A state meet last year, and is currently ranked third in some polls. They have several top 20 runners, but could be just short of beating Klamath Union. That team handily won the Adidas Classic in Portland a few days ago. Scappoose could beat them, but they will need their best race of the season. Second may be more within range. KU was stunned last year, but may be more prepared this time around.

The Scappoose boys are just trying to earn a trip to state at district this Thursday, but probably are not a candidate for a state trophy. The St. Helens boys have a similar goal of making it to state, but taking second at district will be a tough chore this Wednesday.

The St. Helens girls’ 5A soccer team is not going to win league, but they are currently ranked 20th and should stay about there because they face highly-ranked opponents. They will travel to a play-in game on or before Nov. 3. It’s not certain how far they can go, but they could surprise some teams.

The Scappoose girls’ volleyball team topped Astoria in a match Monday night, sending them into a playoff on Tuesday. They could finish second or fourth. Even if they finish fourth, they still could make the play-ins by virtue of their No. 18 ranking. That’s a lot of improvement for a team that won only one match last season. They will have a post-season match, but whether it will be at home is still up in the air. Regardless, their match should be on Oct. 30.

So the bottom line is that four or five Scappoose teams still will make at least the play-ins and/or the state tournament. In St. Helens, there is the chance for three teams to make play-ins.

This system will probably be in place next season, but after that all bets are off. The state is reclassifying again and it will not only drop the number of classifications, but rearrange the league assignments as well. That will be in effect for the 2014-15 school year.