We reached the halfway point of the football season in the Greater Spokane League last week. What have we learned through five weeks?
Ferris isn’t the Ferris of the 14-0 season a year ago. I doubt that it matters much, though. No disrespect to the other nine undefeated 4A teams around the state, but I don’t see a team as good as Ferris or state runner-up Skyline, winner of three straight state titles (the first in 3A) before the Saxons broke through a year ago.
I said all that to say this: Ferris doesn’t have to be as good as last year to challenge for a repeat. Although the Saxons aren’t as good as last year, that doesn’t mean the GSL is down. Quite the opposite.
The three 4A teams that earn state playoff berths will be battle-tested come November. Mark my words here: Two of the three teams will win playoff crossover games with the Columbia Basin Big Nine.
Chiawana, Richland and Davis have emerged as the front-runners in the CBBN. From what I can tell, Chiawana isn’t as strong, at this point, as it was last year.
Davis beat Richland in overtime two weeks ago in Yakima and Chiawana rallied in the second half last week to beat Richland. Davis goes to Chiawana next week in a game that could decide the top seed.
Back to the GSL. No. 1-ranked Ferris has a one-game lead over CV, Mead and Lewis and Clark. Gonzaga Prep is one game behind the deadlocked trio.
Ferris has games remaining against Mt. Spokane (tonight), Mead, LC and G-Prep. It’s doubtful the Saxons will lose. If that’s the case, it would give Mead and LC at least one more loss and G-Prep would finish with at least three. The Bullpups can’t afford one more loss.
CV is at G-Prep on Friday before finishing with Shadle Park, North Central and LC. I don’t see the Bears losing again. But CV will be tested against G-Prep and LC.
Mead has Rogers (tonight), Ferris, G-Prep and University left.
On to LC. The Tigers are certainly the biggest surprise among the 4A. Their margin for error, though, is thin because of the overtime loss to Mead. LC concludes with Shadle (Friday), Mt. Spokane, Ferris and CV. The Tigers could lose as many as three of their final four.
And, finally, G-Prep. The Bullpups are at home against CV on Friday before finishing with NC, Mead and Ferris.
G-Prep could lose as many as three of its final four.
Ferris, as I said, will finish 9-0, CV will be a game back and LC and Mead will tie at 7-2. That would give the final playoff berth to Mead based on its win over LC. The Bullpups, who are a year away and injury-riddled, will conclude well behind at 4-5.
In 3A, NC and U-Hi are tied at 2-3 and Mt. Spokane is 1-4. Just two teams advance to the 3A playoffs.
NC and U-Hi tangle Friday. After that, NC has G-Prep, CV and Mt. Spokane left and U-Hi finishes with Rogers, Shadle and Mead.
Mt. Spokane has Ferris, LC, Rogers and NC remaining.
Here’s how I see the trio concluding league: U-Hi (5-4), Mt. Spokane (3-6) and NC (2-7).
Those are my best guesses at this point. If I’m wrong, I’m sure you’ll let me know.
• In Idaho, there’s no stopping No 1-ranked and defending 5A state champ Coeur d’Alene (5-0). End of discussion.
The state activities association can go ahead and put a CdA on the state title trophy.
This is the best bet since Reagan ran over Carter in the 1980 election.
In 4A, Lakeland is still my pick to knock off Sandpoint and Moscow.