I'm thinking this is the year the Sequim Wolves will break a losing streak and win their first state playoff game Friday night at Tumwater Stadium when they face Centralia in the first round of the WIAA football 2A playoffs.
This game will mark the third-straight trip to the state playoffs and their fifth-straight postseason appearance. Coach Erik Wiker has the team playing at peak performance and the Tigers of Centralia better be ready for the Wolves.
I was at Tumwater last year when Sequim came within a couple of minutes of upsetting powerhouse Tumwater. The final was 22-20 in a game in which few gave Sequim a chance, let alone an upset chance. Many of the Wolves remember that game and they are eager to avenge this loss on the field turf Friday night to get their first playoff win since Wiker took over the helm in 2004.
Sequim is ready for the next level. After a 19-0 opening game loss at Forks (a game the Wolves took a little bit too lightly),
Sequim rolled over Port Angeles 38-7 before the big P.A.-Sequim crowd.
A 17-14 win over Cascade Christian was followed by a 35-21 loss against Steilacoom and the Sentinels will take the league's top berth into the playoffs this week after compiling a 10-0 record.
After that, 36-19 over Klahowya, 74-0 over Kingston, 21-3 over North Mason which is the league's third entry to state, 25-13 over Eatonville, 36-19 over Washington and the wet, sloppy 35-22 win over Fife last Friday night.
Sequim was ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press 2A high school poll last week, so they are not coming into Friday's game as an unknown.
Sequim has more experience this year and Wiker has given a lot of playing time to the entire team. They practice hard, they play hard and they don't have any real stars, the whole team is all-star caliber.
They showed that last week when senior fullback Brad Woolf was injured in a freak accident. Isaac Yamamoto, a soph, stepped in and played well.
Quarterback Drew Rickerson is playing more like a senior than a soph, Travis Decker has turned into a big threat.
The big guys up front - led by 6-foot-6-inch, 295-pound Thomas Gallagher, Vinnie Cadden, the 355-pound senior center, Colin Kahler (now injured), Ryan Woods and Jake Dethlefson - anchor a strong line, while Yamamoto, Kevin Beck, Clancy Catelli, Alex Gillis and Bryan Little stand out on defense, along with steady wide receivers Textor and Reed Omdal ... and don't forget Erik Huston's kicking ability.
Yes, the Wolves have what it takes to beat Centralia, regardless of weather. Look for Sequim to tame the Tigers, say 28-17.
How about those Sequim cross country kids? What a great two weeks for the Wolves. Allison Cutting wins the state 2A event in Pasco, the second Sequim state champ in three years and she beat archrival and defending state champion Ruby Roberts of Kingston by nine big seconds.
Those two have been battling for two years now and they have another year left. Don't miss their duels in spring track, either.
The Sequim girls finished fourth in the state team standings. The Sequim boys took 11th and that's great. WCD champ Kenny Russell was 36th in the fast-paced event.
The Sequim volleyball team is still alive in the WCD event, having beaten Eatonville last week at Kitsap County Fairgrounds, losing to Fife's Trojans in the second round. The Wolves meet Washington on Saturday at 6 p.m. with a state berth on the line.
I thought for sure the Washington Huskies were going to get their first win of the season against Arizona State, but lack of quality depth on defense and an offense that sputters when inside the 20 proved fatal in the loss to the Sun Devils.
I hope they can do it against UCLA this Saturday night. It's a double weekend for your scribe to check out the Huskies and the Seahawks. It's a tough job to sit in the comfort of the press box with hot food and drink, while fans shiver in the night air or in the rain, but, alas, somebody has to do it!
Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.