Sports

Goodbye, Tacoma Dome. State football championships will move to these cities

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced its decision this week on high school state football championships will be on Dec. 7.

If football fans were hoping they could see all six state title games in one weekend, they’re going to be deeply disappointed.

The WIAA executive board voted to have two title games at each of the following stadiums (all in Pierce County): Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood; Mt. Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma; and Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

All sites will host a noon title contest, with the second game to follow at 4 p.m.

At Lang Stadium: the 1A game will be a noon, while the 2B contest is at 4 p.m.

At Mt. Tahoma, it’ll be the 1B title tilt at noon, and the 4A championship at 4 p.m.

And at Sparks, the 3A contest will kick off at noon, and the 2A game is at 4 p.m.

The WIAA believes that with all three stadiums within 13 miles of each other, fans — by paying one ticket price — can move around to all three sites.

The problem is a fan will only be able to watch two games, since everything is scheduled at the same time.

The state championships for football have been held in the Tacoma Dome since 1995 through last December. But rising rental rates and a revised seating configuration in the Dome convinced the board to move everything outside.

The WIAA also announced that if two teams from either Eastern or Central Washington end up meeting each other in a championship game, the game can be moved to Eastern or Central Washington if all parties agree to the site.

Kamiakin football 2019
Players to watch in 2019 on the Kamiakin Braves football team, from left, are: Niko Wiltz, Tuna Altahir, Kelen Rutz, EJ Hawkins, Lui Salgado, Woodley Downard and Messiah Jones. Coach Scott Biglin says the strength of the team is speed on both sides of the ball. Watch a video at: tricityherald.com/video Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

• Top numbers this past week for area football players: Kamiakin QB Henry Mercado with 415 passing yards and 6 TD passes in a 55-41 Braves’ win over Hanford; Kamiakin RB Tuna Altahir with 209 yards rushing in that same game; Richland WR Ben Fewel had 14 catches and 165 yards receiving in the Bombers’ 41-15 win over Sunnyside. It marks the third straight week Fewel had double-digit catch numbers and triple-digit yardage numbers; QB Bobby Holtzinger has shown the 8-man game isn’t hard to adjust to. The DeSales quarterback rushed for 251 yards, scored three TDs, and passed for another in a Southeast B-8 win over Pomeroy on Friday, as the Irish are now 3-0.

Americans split on opening weekend

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Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

The Tri-City Americans opened their 2019-20 Western Hockey League season on Friday with a 4-2 win at Everett, then dropped a 6-1 verdict at Portland on Saturday.

Against Everett, Nikita Krivokrasov scored two goals for the Ams, while Sasha Mutala added a goal and two assists. Goalie Beck Warm stopped 28 of 30 shots.

In the loss to Portland, Jan Cikhart scored Tri-City’s only goal.

Meanwhile, Ams veteran forward Krystof Hrabik is spending this week in training camp with the San Jose Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Cross country

The Kamiakin boys cross country team were dominant on Saturday at the Fort Steilacoom Invitational.

The Braves scored an impressive 40 points to win the team title, well ahead of runner-up Camas and its 82.

Eisenhower’s Jonas Price won the individual title, covering the 5,000 meters in 14 minutes, 50.10 seconds.

But Kamiakin sophomore Isaac Teeples finished second in 15:17.80, and teammate Stanford Smith finished fourth in 15:21.0.

• Kennewick’s Geraldin Correa was the top placer in the 3 Miles Varsity 3 girls race at the Apple Ridge Invite at Highland High School in Yakima on Saturday.

Correa finished in 18:12.2 for the victory. Her teammate, Macy Marquardt, placed third in 19:36.6.

In the boys’ race, Kennewick’s Leonel Leon placed second in 16:29.0; and Hanford’s Ethan Stout was third at 16:51.6.

• The first MCC meet of the season was set for 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Fort Walla Walla Park in Walla Walla.

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Soccer ball on grass Jupiterimages Getty Images/Creatas RF

Girls soccer

It looks like the Mid-Columbia Conference is going to be a free-for-all in girls soccer this fall.

As many as five teams could win the title.

But Richland and Chiawana — each with four all-conference players returning this season — seem to be the front runners.

Last Thursday, Chiawana edged Richland 2-1, while Tuesday night, Richland doubled up on Kamiakin 4-2.

Hanford also handed Chiawana its first loss in a 2-1 verdict on Tuesday.

The next big match will be Tuesday, Oct. 1, when Hanford visits Richland at 7 p.m.

Volleyball

It looks like Richland and Walla Walla may be the team’s to beat in MCC volleyball this season.

Both teams have jumped out to 5-0 conference records, although Chiawana is right behind at 3-1.

All three teams have one returning first-team all conference player – Chiawana outside hitter Kylie Thorne, Richland outside hitter Sage Brustad, and Walla Walla middle hitter Hannah Hair.

The Blue Devils and Bombers meet only once in the regular season, and that’s on the last day of the season, Oct. 30, at Richland High.

• Chiawana graduate McKenna Kaelber seems to have adjusted from high school volleyball to college volleyball just fine.

Kaelber, playing as a true freshman for Montana Tech, has been named the Frontier Conference Volleyball Setter of the Week again this week.

It’s the third time this season already that Kaelber has won the award.

Last week, she had 40 assists as Montana Tech beat Providence 3-1, then added another 30 assists in a 3-1 win over MSU Northern.

Kaelber leads the entire Frontier Conference in total assists so far this season at 513.

MCC Girls Soccer Standings

Chiawana 4-1; Hanford 4-1; Richland 4-1; Kamiakin 3-2; Walla Walla 3-2; Kennewick 2-3; Southridge 2-3, Hermiston 1-4; Pasco 0-6

Tuesday, Sept. 24

Hanford 2, Chiawana 1

Kennewick 1, Pasco 0

Richland 4, Kamiakin 2

Walla Walla 2, Southridge 1

Thursday, Sept. 26

Kamiakin at Hanford, 7 p.m.

Richland at Kennewick, 7 p.m.

Southridge at Hermiston, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28

Richland at Hermiston, 12 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Hanford at Richland, Bomber Field, 7 p.m.

Hermiston at Chiawana, 7 p.m.

Walla Walla at Kamiakin, Lampson Stadium, 7 p.m.

MCC Volleyball Standings

Richland 5-0; Walla Walla 5-0; Chiawana 3-1; Kennewick 3-2; Kamiakin 3-2; Hanford 1-3; Hermiston 1-3; Southridge 1-4; Pasco 0-6

Tuesday, Sept. 24

Chiawana 3, Hanford 0

Kennewick 3, Pasco 0

Richland 3, Kamiakin 0

Walla Walla 3, Southridge 0

Thursday, Sept. 26, all times at 7 p.m.

Hanford at Kamiakin

Hermiston at Southridge

Kennewick at Richland

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Chiawana at Hermiston

Kamiakin at Walla Walla

Richland at Hanford

Southridge at Kennewick

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.
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