NASELLE - The Tacoma News Tribune picked Naselle as the number eight team in the state among 2B schools Monday. Naselle finished third at state last season. The only other local team chosen were the Willapa Valley Vikings, who were picked fifth.

The list was topped by Colfax, followed by Napavine - who defeated the Comets in the state semifinals and went on to win the state title - then LaSalle and Asotin.

In the preseason football poll released last week the Comets are ranked 10th in the state. That poll has Valley ranked seventh and South Bend ranked eighth.

Colfax, Napavine and Asotin are the top three teams, while LaSalle is picked to be fourth and Adna fifth. Central powers Toutle Lake and Wahkiakum are tabbed as "teams to watch."

In the 1A poll Montesano is second behind Royal, while Castle Rock is ranked eighth and Kalama 10th. Ilwaco will play both of those squads this season in Trico League tilts.

In other 2B and 1A football news in Southwest Washington, Morton and White Pass have combined to play football for at least the next two years. The team will sport orange helmets (White Pass' colors) with a green MWP logo (Morton's colors) and play home games at Morton High School's field. They will play a Central 2B schedule, but be eligible for 1A state playoff competition. They must win a pre-determined number of 2B games and defeat class 1A Toledo and Onalaska in non-league contests to earn a trip to state.

In a cost-cutting measure Trico and Evergreen League schools finishing lower than the top three places will not play traditional cross-over football post-season games in 2009. The games were financial busts in the past as no playoff implications were on the line. The Trico and Evergreen league champions will both make the state playoffs and the number two and three teams will have playoffs, with the two winners also qualifying for state.

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