League races heating up around Tacoma

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Much of the Stadium Tigers’ fortunes rest upon the shoulders of senior Kendall Burks. The state-caliber defenseman is a force on both ends of the pitch. If Stadium is going to repeat as league champs and advance to the state tournament, the team will need their leader to put in another sensational season. Photo by Rocky Ross

As we approach the middle of April, it’s time to take a look at how the various league races are shaping up for high schools in the Tacoma area. While the wet weather has made an impact on baseball and fastpitch scheduling over the past week, the current seasons are well ahead of last year’s pace. There were times last spring when it felt as though we’d need some sort of miracle to get a single game completed within a week’s time.

With less than a month left on the schedule, the race for the 3A Pierce County League boys’ soccer crown is possibly the most intriguing of the bunch. The defending champions from Stadium are currently ahead of the pack at 5-0-1, but the gap between the Tigers and the handful of teams in the chase is razor thin.

The surprise of the league this season has got to be the T-Birds from Mt. Tahoma, who currently sit at 4-1-2 in league play. Since teams are awarded three points for a victory and one point for a tie, Mt. Tahoma sits just two points behind Stadium. The T-Birds fell to Stadium by a slim 1-0 margin on Friday, March 30. The two teams will meet again on Friday, April 27, at Mt. Tahoma Stadium. After several years of flirting with moving up to the next level of play, it’s refreshing to see the kind of start that the T-Birds have had this season. Wilson (4-1-1) and Bonney Lake (4-1-2) are also in the thick of the race for the soccer crown. 

The Rams are beginning to find their groove, and a 2-1 victory over Lincoln on Tuesday, April 10, put even more space between what is currently fourth and fifth place in the standings. The top-six teams from the PCL will advance to the district tournament beginning at various sites on Wednesday, May 9. If the season were to end today, all four PCL Tacoma teams would advance to the post-season.

Bellarmine Prep hopes to begin stringing a few wins together and make a run at a district berth. Photo by Rocky Ross

For the second season in a row, the schedule makers have seen fit to stage every district soccer game outside of Tacoma. As a matter of fact, the winner of the PCL title will host a winner to state/loser-out match at Ingersoll Stadium in Olympia. For the record, there are no teams from Olympia in the PCL, while a possible opponent for the game could very well be playing in their own back yard. It makes no sense.

In the 4A South Puget Sound League it looks like a race between Sumner (8-0-0), Puyallup (7-2-0) and Emerald Ridge (7-2-0) for the league title. Curtis (3-5-1) and Bellarmine (1-7-1) have fielded competitive squads, but they’re going to need quick and large turnaround if they plan on extending their seasons into district play.

Another pleasant surprise has come from the boys over at Henry Foss. The Falcons are at the top of the 2A South Puget Sound League Mountain Division standings with a 6-1-0 record. Franklin Pierce (5-0-2), Washington (5-1-1) and perennial league-power Fife (4-3-0) are all within striking distance for the league crown. Clover Park (6-0-0) sits atop the 2A SPSL Sound Division standings. The combined league will send a total of eight teams to the district tournament, which will then qualify five teams for the state tournament.

Lincoln goalkeeper Gabriel Foster takes one for the team against Mt. Tahoma’s Quentin Enbody. Photo by Rocky Ross

It looks as if it might be a race for second place in the 3A PCL baseball picture. With Bonney Lake (7-0) looking like the cream of the crop, things are going to heat up between Wilson (5-2), Spanaway Lake (5-2), Bethel (4-2) and Stadium (4-3). The league will be sending six teams to the district tournament, with six teams advancing to state. If the season were to end today, Mt. Tahoma (2-5) would sneak in as the sixth seed to districts.

It could take a minor miracle to unseat Puyallup (10-0) from the top seat of the 4A SPSL baseball standings. The Vikings look like they are ready to make another run at a state championship. Curtis (7-3) has a very solid squad and looks like a team that could make a run at a state tournament berth. 

Fife is the class of the 2A SPSL baseball race so far. So far, the Trojans are perfect (9-0) in league play and have already qualified for the district tournament. Washington (5-4) and Franklin Pierce (4-4) also look like they’re on course for a post-season berth.

It’s difficult to gauge the sluggers from Life Christian. With only four games under their belt, there is still quite a bit left to be said on the diamond for the Eagles. However, at 3-1, they’ve shown themselves to have the sort of quality that could challenge for the Pacific 2B title. 

The race is heating up in the 3A PCL fastpitch picture. Stadium (4-1), Bonney Lake (3-0) and Lakes (3-0) are all within a few hits and strikes of each other, with a quality Wilson squad (2-2) still within striking distance. Bonney Lake and Stadium have already played each other to a near-standstill, with the Panthers edging the Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday, April 3. The league will send five teams to the district tournament, with six state berths on the line from there.

Puyallup also looks like the top dog in the 4A SPSL fastpitch scene. The Vikings (6-0) sit a game ahead of Curtis (5-1), who they easily dispatched on Tuesday, March 20, by a score of 12-1. The league will send six teams to the district tournament. If the season were to end today, Bellarmine Prep (2-5) would sneak in as the fifth seed. The district will send eight teams to the 4A state tournament.

It’s all about timing and altitude when it comes down to winning headers. Lincoln sophomore defenseman Troy Allen nail it on both counts with Mt. Tahoma senior Marco Rodriguez getting in late to the scene. Photo by Rocky Ross

White River (5-0) looks like the class of the 2A SPSL picture. The race for second place should be interesting, with Fife (4-2), Lindbergh (4-2), Foss (4-2) and Franklin Pierce (4-3) in a logjam behind the Hornets. Eight teams from the two SPSL divisions will advance to the district tournament, where just five clubs will punch tickets to the state tournament.

The Rams are beginning to find their groove, and a 2-1 victory over Lincoln on Tuesday, April 10, put even more space between what is currently fourth and fifth place in the standings. The top-six teams from the PCL will advance to the district tournament beginning at various sites on Wednesday, May 9. If the season were to end today, all four PCL Tacoma teams would advance to the post-season.

For the second season in a row, the schedule makers have seen fit to stage every district soccer game outside of Tacoma. As a matter of fact, the winner of the PCL title will host a winner to state/loser-out match at Ingersoll Stadium in Olympia. For the record, there are no teams from Olympia in the PCL, while a possible opponent for the game could very well be playing in their own back yard. It makes no sense.

In the 4A South Puget Sound League it looks like a race between Sumner (8-0-0), Puyallup (7-2-0) and Emerald Ridge (7-2-0) for the league title. Curtis (3-5-1) and Bellarmine (1-7-1) have fielded competitive squads, but they’re going to need quick and large turnaround if they plan on extending their seasons into district play.

Another pleasant surprise has come from the boys over at Henry Foss. The Falcons are at the top of the 2A South Puget Sound League Mountain Division standings with a 6-1-0 record. Franklin Pierce (5-0-2), Washington (5-1-1) and perennial league-power Fife (4-3-0) are all within striking distance for the league crown. Clover Park (6-0-0) sits atop the 2A SPSL Sound Division standings. The combined league will send a total of eight teams to the district tournament, which will then qualify five teams for the state tournament.

It looks as if it might be a race for second place in the 3A PCL baseball picture. With Bonney Lake (7-0) looking like the cream of the crop, things are going to heat up between Wilson (5-2), Spanaway Lake (5-2), Bethel (4-2) and Stadium (4-3). The league will be sending six teams to the district tournament, with six teams advancing to state. If the season were to end today, Mt. Tahoma (2-5) would sneak in as the sixth seed to districts.

It could take a minor miracle to unseat Puyallup (10-0) from the top seat of the 4A SPSL baseball standings. The Vikings look like they are ready to make another run at a state championship. Curtis (7-3) has a very solid squad and looks like a team that could make a run at a state tournament berth. 

Fife is the class of the 2A SPSL baseball race so far. So far, the Trojans are perfect (9-0) in league play and have already qualified for the district tournament. Washington (5-4) and Franklin Pierce (4-4) also look like they’re on course for a post-season berth.

It’s difficult to gauge the sluggers from Life Christian. With only four games under their belt, there is still quite a bit left to be said on the diamond for the Eagles. However, at 3-1, they’ve shown themselves to have the sort of quality that could challenge for the Pacific 2B title. 

The race is heating up in the 3A PCL fastpitch picture. Stadium (4-1), Bonney Lake (3-0) and Lakes (3-0) are all within a few hits and strikes of each other, with a quality Wilson squad (2-2) still within striking distance. Bonney Lake and Stadium have already played each other to a near-standstill, with the Panthers edging the Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday, April 3. The league will send five teams to the district tournament, with six state berths on the line from there.

Puyallup also looks like the top dog in the 4A SPSL fastpitch scene. The Vikings (6-0) sit a game ahead of Curtis (5-1), who they easily dispatched on Tuesday, March 20, by a score of 12-1. The league will send six teams to the district tournament. If the season were to end today, Bellarmine Prep (2-5) would sneak in as the fifth seed. The district will send eight teams to the 4A state tournament.

White River (5-0) looks like the class of the 2A SPSL picture. The race for second place should be interesting, with Fife (4-2), Lindbergh (4-2), Foss (4-2) and Franklin Pierce (4-3) in a logjam behind the Hornets. Eight teams from the two SPSL divisions will advance to the district tournament, where just five clubs will punch tickets to the state tournament.

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