Even though his 2018 Richland Bombers boys lacrosse team graduated nine seniors last year, head coach Chad Mitchell still thought he could have a good team this year.
“But I didn’t expect to go undefeated,” Mitchell admits.
On Saturday at 4 p.m., the Bombers will open Class 4A state tournament play by hosting Issaquah at 4 p.m. at Carmichael Middle School.
“You never know what to expect out of high school kids,” Mitchell admits. “But our senior leadership has just been awesome this season.”
It’s been a good year so far for this team.
It finished 10-0 in the Central Division, and is currently 16-0 overall. In addition, the Richland School District gave the OK for the lacrosse team to be adopted as an official ASB club sport at Richland High. That allows the team to wear Bombers uniforms, feel like it’s part of the school, and perhaps get one step closer to having the WIAA someday make lacrosse an official sport under its umbrella.
That’s all good and well, but Mitchell says his team is just worried about 8-9 Issaquah right now.
“It’s a really well-coached team that plays in the KingCo League,” said Mitchell. “That’s a tough league that has Mercer Island, Bellevue, Skyline and Eastlake in it. All good programs. Issaquah (which finished fourth in the KingCo) is a solid team.”
Richland has the state’s leading scorer in Matt Hoffman, who averages more than 7 points a game.
“He’s such a hard worker,” said Mitchell. “I wish people knew how hard he works at his game.”
But Mitchell is depending on more than Hoffman on Saturday.
“I would say that our senior leadership is our biggest strength this season,” he said. “We’ve battled a lot of injuries this season, even before the season started. But our seniors have done such a great job.”
Saturday’s game is loser-out. If the Bombers win, they would host another contest next weekend.
There is more postseason action going on this weekend. Here’s a look at the Mid-Columbia Conference action by sport:
In the Class 4A tournament, Richland and Hanford have already qualified for state regionals.
They won their semifinal games on Tuesday, with Richland beating Mead 9-4 and Hanford stopping Walla Walla 10-4.
Chiawana was eliminated Tuesday in a 6-4 loss to Gonzaga Prep.
So on Saturday, Hanford visits Richland at 11 a.m., to determine the seeding order to regionals.
Walla Walla is still alive for that final state regional berth. The Blue Devils play Gonzaga Prep at 10 a.m. Saturday at Mead High School in a loser-out game. If Wa-Hi wins, it plays the Central Valley-Mead winner (played at 1 p.m.) for the final berth at 4 p.m. at Mead.
• In the Class 3A tournament, MCC regular-season champion Kamiakin has already clinched the top seed to the state regionals after the Braves beat Mt. Spokane 15-6 last Tuesday.
Southridge and Kennewick both stayed alive in loser-out games on Tuesday, with the Suns edging Shadle Park 3-2 and the Lions pounding North Central 11-1.
Both teams head to Mt. Spokane on Saturday, and play each other a 1 p.m. in a loser-out contest. The winner will then play Mt. Spokane at 4 p.m. for the second state regional berth.
District 8 play will be next week. The Class 4A boys and girls tournament will be at MeadowWood Golf Course in Spokane on May 13-14.
Pasco has already qualified for the Class 4A state tournament. But the Bulldogs will play host to Ferris at 1 p.m. Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium to determine the seeding order for state.
Chiawana and Richland were both eliminated this past Tuesday, with Central Valley edging the Riverhawks 4-3, and Gonzaga Prep doing the same to the Bombers 2-1.
In the Class 3A tournament, Hermiston clinched the district’s top seed to the state tournament this past Tuesday by beating Kamiakin 3-1.
Kennewick went 1-1 this week, ousting Shadle Park 2-0 on Tuesday before losing 2-0 to Mt. Spokane on Thursday to end the Lions’ season.
So Saturday’s lone contest will feature Mt. Spokane vs. Kamiakin at Lampson Stadium at noon. Winner goes to state as the No. 2 seed; loser is out.
The Class 4A district tournament began this past Tuesday, with Richland beating Mead 10-0, Hanford blanking University 2-0, Lewis & Clark edging Chiawana 1-0, and Central Valley pounding Walla Walla 14-4.
Richland was hosting Hanford on Friday night in a winners’ bracket semifinal, while Walla Walla is at Chiawana at 11 a.m. Saturday in a loser-out game. The tournament continues next weekend.
The tournament continues next weekend.
The MCC championships for 4A are at Richland both Friday and Saturday. Competition picks up at 9 a.m. at Richland High.
The 3A championships begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kennewick High.
Track and field
All nine MCC track and field teams are at Hermiston for the MCC championships, which began Friday and continue at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.
This will determine who advances to regionals next weekend against the Greater Spokane League. The regionals will be May 17-18 at Fran Rish Stadium in Richland.