We’re not too far removed from the turn of the calendar for me to offer a few predictions on what could happen in prep sports among the region’s bigger schools in 2011, especially next month.
I had this in the column crockpot the last two weeks, but held it for the last week in January. The coming weeks, as you know, will be wild.
Now don’t hold me to these. It’s not like I’m picking the order of finish in a league – though those can be way off some times.
• The Mead girls basketball team had a special run last winter, advancing to the State 4A championship game. A Greater Spokane League team just might do as much this season.
It’s not much of a reach to forecast a GSL girls basketball team playing for a state championship. It’s almost become a given that a GSL team will challenge for a state title considering what Lewis and Clark and Central Valley have done in the first decade of the new millennium.
Earlier this season I would have predicted LC not only getting to the final but winning. Now with junior wing Nakia Arquette injured and a return in question, I don’t see it happening for the Tigers.
Gonzaga Prep could go far into the state tourney, though. The Bullpups are short like Mead was a year ago, and they have a one-two punch in senior Tia Presley and junior Lindsay Stockton to go along with some nice support players.
They’re quick and play solid defense. And if Mead could challenge for the title without a post, so can the Bullpups.
• I’ll stay with girls basketball and jump across the border for a moment. Coeur d’Alene’s streak of three straight state titles could be snapped. If that happens, it will be another Inland Empire League team doing so.
I see Lewiston and CdA in the state final for a second consecutive year. Something tells me that CdA will win one more and Dale Poffenroth will retire with four state titles at CdA and three at CV.
• In boys basketball, no GSL team will be in the mix for a state title, but Ferris will snag a trophy.
The best boys basketball in the area can be found in the 5A IEL. This little four-team league is a war zone.
An IEL boys team has been in the state final the past three years with Lewiston and Post Falls taking home title banners the last two respectively.
I’m not sure Post Falls is as good as it was a year ago, but the IEL should have the Trojans battle tested for another title shot by season’s end.
• In wrestling, University will be in the title hunt in 3A and Central Valley could pick up where University left off in 4A.
Post Falls could unseat defending champ CdA.
• Here’s all I’m going to say about spring – if we have one, that is. As you know around here, weather from March through May is, well, unpredictable.
There will be the requisite individual state track champions in Spokane and North Idaho, and the Mead boys and girls teams will contend for state titles.
• Fall is eight months away, and even my crystal ball has some fog swirling about.
In football, defending state champs Ferris and Coeur d’Alene will field capable teams – ones that will go further in the state playoffs than other area teams. Repeat state titles? Not likely. But CdA will be on the state map for at least another three years.
• Mead’s volleyball team will be favored again in the GSL, but it will probably lack the firepower to contend for a state title.