Though Bellingham’s Civic Stadium is an approved Washington Interscholastic Activities Association site to host a state semifinal this year, neither the Lummi nor the Lynden football teams will be playing in Whatcom County this weekend.
Instead, the Blackhawks and Lions will play back-to-back games at Everett Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The WIAA released times and locations for the semifinals in all six classifications Sunday.
It was not a surprise that Lynden is heading to Snohomish County for its 1 p.m. Class 2A semifinal against top-ranked Archbishop Murphy, as the fourth-ranked Lions (11-1) are the designated visiting team against the unbeaten Wildcats.
But the top-ranked Blackhawks (10-0) will be the designated home team when they host No. 3 Neah Bay (9-1) in a 4 p.m. Class 1B state semifinal.
“That’s a surprise to me,” Lummi coach and athletic director Jim Sandusky said. “I’m not really sure why they would do that. ... But for us, that’s just a short trip, compared to some of the drives we have to make.”
Neither game will feature teams unfamiliar with each other. Saturday’s game will mark the fourth time Lynden and Archbishop Murphy have met in the state playoffs, with Lynden winning the first three meetings, while this will be the eighth straight year Lummi and Neah Bay have met in the state’s elite eight for 1B, with the Red Devils holding a 4-3 edge and the Blackhawks winning last year’s state semifinal showdown in Tacoma.