HIGHLINE - Kevin McNulty, a Naselle High School graduate and ex-coach at both Naselle and Ilwaco High School, and his class 3A football team, the White River Hornets, qualified for the State 3A WIAA football playoffs.
The number 8-ranked Hornets, with a 9-2 record, clinched a 3A state berth Monday night, Nov. 10, by routing Mount Rainier, 62-0, in the Seamount League crossover playoffs at Highline Stadium.
White River didn't know who its opponent would be in the first round of the playoffs. Depending upon the conclusion of the Seamount League playoffs, the Hornets first round opponent could be a home game with two-time defending state champion Bellevue, ranked number 3 in the state, or they could play number 2 ranked O'Dea in Seattle's Memorial Stadium.
Faced with those two daunting possibilities, McNulty was quoted as saying, "To be the best, you have to beat the best."
After the other playoff games were completed, the Hornets' opponent turned out be O'Dea, 9-1 on the season with their only defeat a 20-7 loss to Capital in the "kickoff classic" season opener played in Seahawks Stadium. After that loss, the O'Dea team rolled over nine opponents, including highly rated Rainier Beach in their last game.
White River and O'Dea met in Seattle's Memorial Stadium Saturday night. The Hornets lost to O'Dea 21-6, ending their season with a 9-3 record.
In class B-11 man, Willapa Valley and Cathlamet were both victorious, meaning that they will play each other this weekend in quarterfinal tournament action.