Deer Park is seeking its fifth consecutive State 2A title. “I think only four schools have ever done this in Washington state,” Stags coach Matt Jorgensen said. Cheney, 17th in state last year, and East Valley are no slouches. They will make some noise.
Returning state placers
Cheney junior Elias Mason is a returning state champion. Deer Park brings back runner-up Dylan Miller and third-placers Jake Konzal (a state champ two years ago as a freshman), Cole Barber and Joe Grable. All three are underclassmen. Add in the coach’s son, Jason Jorgensen, and things look good for the Stags. Clarkston has two returning placers.
What they’re saying
Winning state is not guaranteed for the Stags. “(But) we have two All-Americans on our team – the top eight in the nation,” Jorgensen said. “Joe Grable was ranked 11th in the nation among all freshmen and sophomores.” … East Valley’s Craig Hanson likes his team. The longtime coach has placed in the top 10 at state 12 times at the 3A level and above, including a title, two seconds and thirds. Things haven’t been as good lately at 2A, but with 12 starters back, the Knights should be looking up. “I feel we will have a good year in the GNL and region this year,” Hanson said. “By the end of the year, if we have everything come together, we will be a solid team in postseason.” … Wade Schlotter’s Cheney Blackhawks bring back 12 of 14 starters, including Mason at 160 pounds. Josh Bradley, seventh in state as a freshman, is back after a two-year hiatus. “We’re well-balanced in the middle through upper weights,” Schlotter said. “We should have a balanced dual team with kids who should be able to do well in tourneys as well.”
Lakeside coach Troy Hughes missed practices because of surgery last week for a ruptured disk in his neck. “I miss my team,” Hughes said via Facebook. “I am sad I will miss watching them fight over the next several days, but I know they will fight like champions.” The Eagles finished second in State 1A last year and return nine starters, including four of the NEA’s eight returning state placers. Riverside was fifth and Colville 15th in the 1A team race … Four area B teams finished among the top 11. Reardan was third and brings back four of the area’s 10 returning top-four finishers.
|Predicted finish||5. Med. Lake|
|1. Deer Park||3. Cheney||6. W.Valley|
|2. East Valley||4. Clarkston||7. Pullman|