Memory Lane: Looking back at all my “first games of the season”

This is my 13th season covering Clark County high school sports. Just for fun, I took a look back at all the first games I covered for every football season from 2001-2012. I did not include all the games from the first weekend. (Last year, for example, I covered a Thursday opener and then a Friday game. Some years, I had a Friday game, then a game on Saturday.) These are just the very first games for each season I covered for Clark County football fans.

And if you are a fan of Oregon teams, you must really, really like me. If you are a Clark County team facing an Oregon squad (such as Camas in about 75 minutes) you probably don’t want me anywhere near your game.

Six times, the first game I’ve covered for The Columbian each season has pitted an Oregon squad against a Clark County squad. Six times, the Oregon team has won:

2006: Central Catholic 34, Evergreen 14
2007: Central Catholic 43, Evergreen 40 (One of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen, won on a Hail Mary, appropriately enough, by Central Catholic)
2008: South Medford 17, Evergreen 0
2010: Sherwood, 43, Skyview 28
2011: Sherwood 27, Skyview 24
2012: Central Catholic 27, Skyview 9

So, it’s up to the Papermakers to break this trend for Clark County.

The first game I covered for The Columbian was in 2001 when Skyview beat Columbia River 17-7. It was a milestone win for the Storm because it was the first time they had topped the Chieftains. It was the fourth year of varsity football for Skyview, and it was the first time the program had “arrived.”

In 2002, we went to Columbia River vs. Hudson’s Bay. And here’s why: The game featured two playoff teams from the previous year. Yes, playoffs and Eagles in the same sentence. River won 21-0.

In 2003, a coach by the name of Jim Sharkey opened his time at Battle Ground with a 23-21 win over Heritage. He left Battle Ground and went on to win a state title at Ferris of Spokane in 2010.

In 2004, we went small school vs. big school, and small school won. La Center beat Prairie 39-3. La Center is still winning a lot of games these days with the same coach, John Lambert.

In 2005, it was Columbia River and Hudson’s Bay again. This time, it was a pick-six with 3.7 seconds left that broke a tie and gave River a 43-36 victory.

And in 2009, it was Skyview vs. Union in a non-league game before the Titans were in the 4A GSHL. The game was scoreless through three quarters, Skyview scored first, but Union got two touchdowns and won 14-9.

I love this stuff!

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