While every county team sets different preseason team goals, playing meaningful football in November has to be at the top of every program’s list.
The postseason picture is coming into clearer focus as we enter the final week of the regular season. Some teams already have locked up district playoff berths, some already have eliminated themselves and others will need a win and/or a bit of luck this week to claim a postseason spot.
Here is a look at how the district playoffs are shaping up for Northwest Conference teams:
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Lynden (7-1, 5-1 NWC 2A/3A), Sedro-Woolley (7-1, 5-1) and Squalicum (6-2, 4-2) already have earned three of the NWC’s four Class 2A District 1 Playoff berths.
Squalicum, which is locked into the No. 3 seed and will face the Cascade Conference’s No. 2 seed on the road, is the only team with its position solidified.
If the Lions beat Blaine or have Sedro-Woolley lose to Ferndale, Lynden will have claimed the league title outright and the No. 1 district seed. If the Lions fall and Sedro-Woolley wins, the Cubs will have won the title and the conference’s top seed. Lynden owns the tiebreaker over the Cubs after beating Sedro-Woolley 33-30 Week 8.
The fourth and final 2A spot is a little trickier. Burlington-Edison (5-3, 3-3), Sehome (3-5, 2-4) and Blaine (4-4, 2-4) are all still alive. Anacortes (1-7, 0-6) already has been eliminated.
The Tigers have the clearest path to earn the final spot. If Burlington-Edison can beat Sehome this week, its in. If the Tigers lose and Blaine beats Lynden, Burlington-Edison will play Sehome and Blaine in a Kansas tie-breaker for the final playoff spot.
The Mariners can earn the final playoff spot if they beat Burlington-Edison and have Lynden beat Blaine. If Sehome beats the Tigers and the Borderites win, a Kansas tie-breaker will be played.
Blaine needs to beat Lynden and have Sehome beat Burlington-Edison to get a chance reach the playoffs. Even then, the Borderites would need to win the tiebreaker to advance.
NWC’s No. 1 seed will host Shorecrest (0-8, 0-6 WESCO 2A/3A), The No. 2 seed will host the Cascade Conference’s No. 3 seed and the No. 4 seed will travel to play Lakewood, CC’s No. 1 seed.
Not much has been solved through the first eight weeks in the 1As, with an exception to Mount Baker already earning a postseason berth.
The Mountaineers (6-2, 4-1 NWC 1A) will earn the top seed and the 1A title with a win against Lynden Christian or a Meridian loss to Nooksack Valley. If the Trojans (5-3, 3-2) beat the Pioneers and Baker loses, the two teams would play a Kansas tie-breaker for the No. 1 seed.
Nooksack Valley (3-5, 1-4), despite beating Lynden Christian last week, has been eliminated. In order for the Lyncs (5-3, 2-3) to move on, they need to beat Baker and have Meridian lose to Nooksack Valley, which would then set up a Kanas tie-breaker for the final 1A berth.
NWC’s No. 1 seed will host Cedar Park Christian, CC’s No. 2 seed, while NWC’s No. 2 seed will travel to play King’s. Winners of both games will advance to the state playoffs.
Ferndale’s loss last week to Sehome put itself in quite the uphill battle.
The Golden Eagles (3-5, 3-3 NWC 2A/3A) need to finish among the WESCO’s top six in order to reach the Class 3A District Playoffs. Right now seven 3A WESCO teams — Meadowdale (6-0), Marysville-Pilchuck (5-0), Oak Harbor (4-1), Mountlake Terrace (5-1), Arlington (3-2), Glacier Peak (3-2) and Edmonds-Woodway (3-2) — own better league records. Although, many of the aforementioned teams still have two league games left due to last week’s postponements.
Ferndale essentially needs to beat Sedro-Woolley this week and get some help from the WESCO schools in order to reach the postseason.