Discover more from The Journal 425
GP at Lake: Stage Set for Drama Friday
The eyes of the prep football world will center on Lake Stevens Friday as the top ranked Grizzlies battle the third-ranked Vikings with a title -- and much more on the line
The Fall air was crisp and so was practice Wednesday, as Tom Tri’s Lake Stevens Vikings (6-2, 3-0) prepared for what is inarguably a game for the ages (as far as prep football contests go at least) against neighboring Glacier Peak (7-1, 3-0) Friday.
To say the stage is set for drama is a cliche. It’s also fitting. It’s also an understatement.
Because on Friday, at 7 pm at LSHS Stadium, the third-ranked Vikings host Glacier Peak — the state’s top ranked 4A team with a lot more than just a Wesco title on the line.
The Glacier Peak Grizzlies are both Lake’s neighbor and rival — the two squared off in a memorable 34-28 Viking win in Snohomish last year — with the Grizzlies sidelining Viking QB Kaden LaPlaunt with a vicious illegal hit (ruled as targeting and roughing the passer) before the Vikings rallied for the win.
So file that away in the motivation section.
So we’ve established a local rivalry with recent events adding to the importance.
What else we got?
Well, the game is the defacto Wesco Championship Game. Both teams are 3-0 in conference. The winner takes the Wesco Crown and earns a lengthy home spell in the upcoming state playoffs.
Still not enough for ya?
Let’s see what else we got.
How about win streaks? Because we have a couple:
Lake’s 53-game league win streak and the Vikings’ decade long conference championship streak are on the line Friday.
Both teams and coaches are well aware of this.
Finally, as far as the stage-setting goes, Friday is Senior Night, the high school tradition that honors outgoing seniors.
It’s a night filled with family and pageantry.
Pre-game, players and family unite on the field for pictures. The student section hangs hand-made posters and banners for the seniors along the railing.
So as the seniors meet family midfield, as the band warms up, and as five thousand plus people stream in to the stadium, the visiting Grizzlies will be preparing for battle in the visiting locker room.
Viking seniors will compartmentalize the emotions and escort their family off the field before joining teammates in those claustrophobic spaces under the stands.
Final preparations, prayers, and speeches will occur underneath the thundering noise of thousands of feet climbing metal bleachers.
And as the visiting team lines up parallel to the 50, as the Vikings prepare to exit the locker room, burst through the cheerleaders’ signage and — backed by their highly-caffeinated marching band — drop the hammer at midfield…this writer hopes that everyone involved intentionally takes a second to file away the scene, the moment.
In that moment, whether you’re the fan filing in, the mom greeting her son on the field, the coach giving the speech, the senior charging through the sign, the cheerleader… or even the American Legion member preparing for the flag presentation…you are at the center of a moment of pure Americana, occurring in a setting draped with the highest levels of drama.
It should make for a more than memorable night, and it’s settings like these that —regardless of outcome — make our communities great places to live in.
So get there early on Friday — aim for 6:15 pm — the local traffic will be immense with a record crowd expected.
If you aren’t attending, tune in right here to www.thejournal425.com for our Live Game Thread — we’re expecting to set a record too, so just know that if you can’t join the 5,000 fans in person, we’re expecting at least that many to join us virtually at the J425 live coverage.
As far as the rest of the week goes, the J425 game preview will be up later Thursday evening.
We're doing it a little early this week to try and allow everyone extra time to soak everything in.
In the meantime, get caught up on your Viking Football info by selecting the Purple and Gold Sports tab on the J425 homepage, where you can find Hall of Famer Mike Anderton’s recap of the Viking’s 56-10 win at Kamiak Friday, as well as the J425 video highlight from Kamiak.
Additionally, we’ve also got game and season stats, as well as this week’s updated 4A poll.