Sports Gravy

"So now that the Super Bore is out of the way, I've reclaimed my column space for the final weeks of the high school winter season, where at least none of the athletes are murderers. Don't stop reading yet. I talk about four different sports from all three high schools in this column. The Decatur wrestling team surprised everyone except themselves on the way to finish the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record. Gator wrestlers haven't been this good since Steve Irwin, the crazy Australian reptiliophile, took over cable television as the Crocodile Hunter. The Decatur wrestling lineup is solid all the way through and has a realistic shot at winning regionals. Federal Way wrestlers Kasey and Ryan Underwood are also expected to advance to state. The Decatur gymnastics team is also ranked among the best in the state, earning a ninth-place ranking in this week's AP poll. The Gator gymnasts get one of their toughest tests of the season tonight when they face Jefferson and Federal Way at 7 p.m. at Federal Way. If anyone was ever curious about what a gymnastics meet is all about, tonight is the time to see a collection of the best gymnasts in the city. They do cool flips. The Jefferson swimming team is the squad to beat this year in Federal Way. The Raiders are stacked with a deep lineup and led by senior Pete Friedhoff, who has qualified for state. Decatur has two state-caliber swimmers in Garrett McCaffrey and Joon Youm, and Federal Way is led by state-qualifier Colin Hunter. So while the swimming and wrestling league seasons are decided and the gymnastics season wraps up tonight, it leaves basketball wide open. The final weeks are like a funnel. Nine teams started the season and only the top four advance to post-season play.If the playoffs started today, The Federal Way boys team would sneak in with the fourth and final playoff position and the Jefferson girls would make it as the third seed. But the playoffs don't start today. The good news on the boys side is that at least one team from Federal Way will make the playoffs, with the possibility of as many as two out of the three teams sneaking into the top four. But with three nights of basketball yet to be played, we just don't know who those teams are yet. Early projections have been retracted and we have labeled it too close to call. Federal Way High School is in the driver's seat, but the Jefferson and Decatur boys teams both still control their own destiny and have a shot at the fourth playoff spot if each can pick up a win over the Eagles. If third-seeded Rogers stumbles down the stretch, it's possible for two of the three teams to end up in the top four. The three local teams all get a shot at each other in the next 10 days, concluding with the Federal Way versus Decatur rivalry on Feb. 9. That final rivalry game will be more for pride than for playoff implications on the girls side. Barring unforeseen and dramatic circumstances, such as win-loss records changing for no reason, the Federal Way and Decatur girls teams are all but eliminated from the playoffs. If the Gator girls win all of their remaining games, they have an outside shot if Rogers loses all its final games. For practical purposes, it looks like the Gator girls won't get an opportunity for another run to the state tournament. This year, the hope of making a run through the playoffs falls to the Jefferson girls, who are rolling and in third place after a key win against top-seeded Bethel.While the lady Raiders are almost assured of a playoff spot, they still have to face Decatur, who was one point away from beating them earlier this season, and Federal Way, which has nothing to lose and everything to gain with an upset win. "

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