Photos by Ray Hamill/ – The Fortuna Huskies and Arcata Tigers both qualified for this season’s NCS soccer playoffs.

The Huskies will host a doubleheader of playoff soccer at Fortuna High on Friday night, after both the school’s teams received the top seed for the North Coast Section playoffs.

The defending Division-I champion boys will open against either Willits or Credo at 5 p.m., followed by the girls, who will play either St. Helena or Clear Lake at 7 p.m.

The doubleheader of playoff games is well deserved after a big season for the school in soccer, with the Huskies clinching an historic double of H-DNL titles for the first time ever.

Boys head coach Daniel Holmes has built a dynasty of sorts with seven straight league titles, while girls head coach Kathleen Lynch led her program to its first-ever league title this fall.

“It’s nice for the school, and nice for the soccer community down here,” Holmes said. “I think Kathleen is doing an outstanding job, and I know her girls are excited.”

Both teams are undefeated on the season, with the boys now 14-0-3 and the girls 14-0-2.

The girls were expected to get the top seed, although for the boys it was slightly unexpected.

“I think it was a little surprising just because of the little hiccups we’ve had the last couple of weeks,” said Holmes, whose team has tied two of its past three games. “But I’ll take the one seed.”

For more on the Fortuna girls, see Local teams earn top three seeds again …

Loggers ready to crash the party

A total of 10 of the 14 H-DNL teams qualified for the postseason, including the Eureka boys, who are seeded No. 11 in Division I and will open at No. 6 St. Helena on Wednesday night.

“We knew we were going to get a lower seed, and we’ll have to travel,” Eureka head coach Eddie Garcia said. “But that’s okay, we made it and from here on out anything can happen.”

The players received the news with enthusiasm. 

“They’re all stoked,” said Garcia, whose team was 6-6 in the H-DNL. “We’ve shown at times when we play our game we can compete with anybody, and we’ve just got to go in ready.”

Two local games on Wednesday

The North Coast will host two boys games in the opening round, with No. 11 McKinleyville playing at No. 7 Del Norte in what could be the best matchup of the first round, and No. 12 Lower Lake traveling to play No. 5 Arcata.

Both games are set for 2:30 p.m.

Mack and Del Norte were two of the hottest teams on the North Coast down the stretch of the regular season.

The Warriors, who finished runners-up in the NCS a year ago, are unbeaten in their last eight league games, finishing up 7-3-2.

The Panthers were 5-4-3 in league, closing out with four wins and a tie in their final six games, while also twice tying frontrunners Fortuna, which won nine of its other 10 games.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are one of the more intriguing stories of the season after going 7-2-3 in league play under first-year head coach John Davidson and experienced assistant Tuck Engelman, who have immediately put their stamp on the traditionally strong program.

The Tigers edged a surging Del Norte for second in league this year and will be fancied to make a strong playoff run.

Despite a strong season for the South Fork boys, who pushed several Big 5 teams close in league, the Cubs did make the postseason field.


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.