KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS 
Port Angeles’ Kason Albaugh runs with the ball during an October 2023 contest.The Riders would have a different playoff foe under the “Round of 32” district crossover plan to take effect this fall.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Port Angeles’ Kason Albaugh runs with the ball during an October 2023 contest.The Riders would have a different playoff foe under the “Round of 32” district crossover plan to take effect this fall.

PREP FOOTBALL: District crossover playoff games could be cross-state contests

PORT ANGELES — District crossover football games have been tweaked for this fall in place of a “Round of 32” high school football playoff system for the 2024-25 school year for the WIAA’s Class 1A-4A classifications, the Washington State Football Coaches Association announced earlier this month.

In the past, teams on the west side of the state have played each other in district crossover games in Week 10 playoff matchups.

In 2023, Port Angeles beat Franklin Pierce 28-18 in one such district crossover to advance to the Class 2A State Football Tournament.

Under the change this fall, all districts will be included in Week 10 playoff games a week ahead of the state tournament Round of 16. That means there will be some east side teams traveling west before the state tournament and vice versa.

The Round of 32 won’t have official seeding by committee like the state tournament Round of 16, but seeding committees’ and district directors’ recommendations will be taken into consideration by Lake Washington School District athletic director John Applegate, who will determine the Week 10 pairings “with the help of district directors and the WIAA Seeding Committees for each classification.”

“Remember these are not WIAA state playoff games in Week 10. These are agreements between Districts to combine allocations in a week 10 format that will then lead to the WIAA Football State Tournament brackets,” the association said in its statement.

Preference for home games will be given to teams that win their respective leagues.

“The WSFCA is grateful to the District Directors for their creation of the Week 10 Agreements and for listening to the feedback from the football coaches of WA,” reads a WSFCA statement on Friday. “We are excited to see the positive impact this has on football in our state.”

Like before, teams that lose in Week 10 will be eliminated from the postseason. The teams will then be re-seeded into the state tournament Round of 16 by committees.

For most programs, the changes are likely inconsequential. The top-tier programs with a legitimate shot at winning state titles generally win their Week 10 matchups in blowout fashion. Even the Round of 16, the opening round of the state tournament, has its fair share of lopsided results every year.

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