LC football file photo

Lynden Christian's athletes and teams will not be penalized as a result of the school's Sept. 29 closure due to COVID-19. (Tribune file photo)

All sports outside of football will record "no contests"

LYNDEN – Lynden Christian’s athletes and teams will not be penalized as a result of the school’s closure.

LC students returned to online learning for two weeks beginning Thursday, Sept. 30, due to a “high number” of COVID-19 cases in the schools, according to a Lynden Christian press release from that day. 

The school’s teams, however, will not see any impact on their chances to compete in the postseason, said Mike McKee, president of the Northwest Conference and Lynden High School’s athletic director.

“Every single team is going to make it into districts, regardless,” McKee said. “The [COVID-19 cancelled] games are no-contest, meaning they don’t count for or against you.”

This format is to ensure that the teams Lynden Christian would be competing against—or any other program with major cancellations—don’t see ramifications in their seeding as well. 

With this approach, neither team on each side of the cancelled game will gain or lose anything from the contest being crossed off the schedule. 

Additionally, football is the only sport that will make-up any cancelled games. It is the lone fall sport where things become more tricky seeding-wise when there is a wide variance in games played. 

McKee said that select football games will be made-up in week 10 of the season. 

The way those matchups are determined is where the complication comes in. It will be based on what lost games will have “the biggest impact on the potential standings,” McKee said.

For example, Lynden Christian will no longer play Meridian next Friday, Oct. 8, which would have been a critical league matchup for both programs. This could be the game they make up in week 10 if it is needed to determine who moves forward or is seeded higher.

As of now, it’s a wait and see scenario.

“You could be in a two-way tie, a three-way tie, there’s all sorts of contingencies we have to have for those scenarios that you try and build in,” McKee said. “As much as you try and look forward and think through every scenario, I’ve done this for long enough to know that what you think is a one-in-a-million scenario happens a little more often than you would think.”

Much of this will not become clear until a few more weeks of football have been played. Once we get there, needed makeups will likely emerge. 

Lynden Christian is not the only school in the Northwest Conference to lose two scheduled football games. Sedro-Woolley did not play Archbishop Murphy this past Friday, nor will they host Cedarcrest next Friday, Oct. 8.

That game against Archbishop Murphy, a league contest, could be another one made up in week 10 depending on postseason impact, McKee stated.

The important thing, for now, is knowing that other sports will see no effect on their playoff chances. We can at least breathe a deep sigh of relief there, and wait until we approach the end of the football season.