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Prep football matchups have postseason implications

With three weeks left in most football teams’ regular seasons, games take on more importance in several leagues.

In the Greater Spokane League, the outcomes of four of five games carry postseason significance.

Central Valley (5-1) faces Mead (5-1) in tonight’s featured game at Joe Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:15.

In a doubleheader at Albi on Friday, Shadle Park (2-4) goes against North Central (1-5) at 5:30 and South Hill rivals Lewis and Clark (3-3) and Ferris (5-1) play at 8.

In other GSL games, Mt. Spokane (1-5) is at University (2-4) and Rogers (0-6) visits Gonzaga Prep (6-0). Both games are at 7.

The CV-Mead and Shadle-NC winners don’t lock up postseason berths, but a loss will all but knock a team out of contention.

In the Great Northern League on Friday, co-leader West Valley (5-1, 3-0) faces East Valley (5-1, 2-1) at 7 while the other co-leader, surprising Pullman (5-1, 3-0), has a bye.

In a matchup of co-leaders in the Northeast A League on Friday, Freeman (5-1, 3-0) visits Chewelah (5-1, 3-0) at 7 in what should decide the league championship.

In a game Friday that could go far in deciding the Northeast 2B title, co-leaders Reardan (4-1, 2-0) and Lind-Ritzville/Sprague (5-0, 2-0) meet in Ritzville at 7. Reardan is coming off a big win over defending champ Colfax.

Repeat of history?

Mead football coach Sean Carty hopes history repeats itself this season.

The year was 1997 and Central Valley was zipping along undefeated in league play at 6-0 when Gonzaga Prep stunned the Bears 24-14. The teams ended up sharing the league title.

The history part that Carty hopes his Panthers repeat – after they were stunned two weeks ago by G-Prep – is whether his team can run the table like CV did in 1997. The Bears ended capturing the state championship.

“Everybody needs a little bit of a shakeup,” Carty said a week after Mead got its shakeup. “I was an assistant (at Mead) in 1997 and remember Prep gave CV the wakeup that year. I don’t know if we’re as good as them (Bears, circa ’97), but we’re certainly trying to get better every week and we want to match them. We’re just trying to keep these guys focused on getting better.”

Mead atop rankings

The Panthers’ volleyball team moved to the Washington State Coaches Association’s and Seattle Times’ State 4A polls this week after capturing the Crossover Classic championship last weekend.

Mead topped Jackson, the 2010 state champ and the team the Panthers supplanted atop the rankings.

The Panthers are focused on returning to the top of the state heap they dominated in the first 10 years of this millennium.

Senior middle blocker Hannah Zalopany led the Panthers at Crossover, finishing with 39 kills, 33 digs and 16 digs with a .460 hitting percentage. She was named a WIAA Athlete of the Week.

“We were determined to do what it took to get ourselves from where we were at to here,” Mead coach Judy Kight said of her team’s improvement.

So what does Mead do from here to stay at the top of its game for the next month?

“This is the best we’ve played so far, but we can push ourselves so much more in practice because we have 11 seniors,” Kight said. “We practice like crazy. We practice the crap out of ourselves.”

Many times Mead’s practices are more intense than its league matches.