It was certainly a long wait, but a close-to-full tilt of WIAA football will take place starting Friday.
After the Puget Sound and West Regions hit Phase 2 in the state's COVID-19 recovery plan in late January, schools in Pierce, King, Snohomish, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific and Grays Harbor Counties were cleared to begin practicing Feb. 2.
And over the past few weeks, all regions have entered Phase 2 - the last being the South Central Region (Yakima and Tri-Cities areas) on Saturday.
With games now being played from mid-February until the middle of April, here are SBLive Washington's recommendations for must-watch matchups on a weekly basis:
Editor's note: Keep in mind that all schedules during the pandemic remain fluid ... so check them regularly!!
WEEK 1 (Feb. 15-20)
Skinny: Most of the games this opening weekend are on the west side as one of the 4A SPSL's top programs (Puyallup) welcomes its new star-studded league member (Bethel, moving up from 3A), led by the backfield of QB Kekoa Visperas and RB Will Latu, a UW signee.
WEEK 2 (Feb. 22-27)
Skinny: If you like tension-filled rivalries, this is as good as it comes in Clark County. And these are also the last two schools to win a Class 4A title - Union in 2018, and the Papermakers last season. Both schools went undefeated during their championship runs.
WEEK 3 (March 1-6)
Skinny: Unfinished business? These two heavy-hitting powerhouses split their season series in 2019 - with O'Dea winning on this field during the regular season (28-6), and the Crusaders defending their state championship in December in Puyallup (20-12).
WEEK 4 (March 8-13)
Skinny: Few leagues around the state can boast the Mid-Columbia Conference's success - these two programs included. Chiawana captured the 4A title in 2013 while the Braves won the 3A title in 2016. And Kamiakin can end the Riverhawks' two-year reign as league champions.
WEEK 5 (March 15-20)
Skinny: You could label this "Blockbuster Weekend" with all the great matchups going on. But this 2A championship rematch takes the cake as the T-Birds' strength up front, paced by DL Jacob Schuster, tries to disrupt Steilacoom's pass-happy attack, led by QB Chance McDonald.
WEEK 6 (March 22-27)
Skinny: If you play your cards right, you might see history made as Lancers' QB Sam Huard, a UW commit, could be approaching the state's all-time passing-yardage or touchdown marks. The Conks want to mess everything up, and have the athletes to hang with this group.
WEEK 7 (March 29-April 3)
Skinny: As part of the KingCo division round-robin slate of games, this will be the second matchup between these two state powerhouses - which means the Cougars and Falcons will have played four times in the past two seasons.
WEEK 8 (April 5-10)
Skinny: Once Spokane thaws out from under its heavy winter snow, expect a lot of offense to be put up in this Greater Spokane League showdown - featuring the Bullpups' triple option, operated by QB Ryan McKenna, and Central Valley's spread passing attack, led by QB Luke Abshire.
Honorable mention: Metro League semifinals at Memorial Stadium (April 9 or 10).