CENTRALIA — Forks football had a wildly successful year, ranked in the top 10 all year, and winning both a district playoff game and its first state playoff game in 20 years.
But the Spartans learned they still have a ways to go to reach the level of a team like Napavine.
Forks was beaten 55-6 by Napavine in the 2B state quarterfinals. The Tigers are one of the big powers at the 2B level, ranked No. 2 in the state and entering their seventh straight 2B semifinals.
Forks got its touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 53-yard pass from Logan Olson to Dalton Kilmer.
Forks, ranked No. 7 in the RPI rankings, only lost two games all season — both to Napavine.
“They’re a very, very good team. They have fantastic players,” said Forks coach Trevor Highfield.
Highfield said he hopes this season sets a standard for the Spartans to aspire to each year.
“What we want to get to is a culture where we’re playing in November and into December annually,” he said. “I told them we built something that should be a standard.”
It was also Forks’ first full season at the 2B level as last year was largely cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highfield said the quality of play at the 2B level is every bit as tough as what he saw at the 1A level, with many of the state 2B powers located in southwestern Washington. Three out of the four remaining teams — Napavine, No. 1-ranked Kalama and Onalaska — are all located in a cluster roughly between Longview and Chehalis.
Highfield was proud of what the Spartans accomplished this year and how well they did on the all-academic teams.