A look into the crystal ball of Greater Spokane League football reveals it is clear as mud.
There is a conglomeration of colors. There’s the light blue of Central Valley, the scarlet red of Ferris, the dark blue of Gonzaga Prep and the maize and gold of Mead. There’s even distinguishable hues of Shadle Park green.
At least five teams figure to have a say in the crowning of a league champion. And another three schools – Lewis and Clark, Mt. Spokane and University – will challenge for playoff berths.
It’s highly doubtful the league champ will go through unscathed. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise the coaches if league play concludes with a logjam at the top, perhaps constituting a physical tiebreaker to decide playoff berths.
Nine weeks of highly competitive play will allow shifting from week to week in the standings.
All 10 coaches voted in our preseason poll and CV and Ferris finished with 87 points each. CV received four votes for first and Ferris two.
Five different teams received first-place votes, including Shadle Park.
Postseason qualifier Gonzaga Prep was picked third (79) and defending champ Mead (77) fourth. Fifth through 10th, respectively, were postseason qualifier Shadle (61), Lewis and Clark (52), postseason qualifier University (41), Mt. Spokane (33), North Central (18) and Rogers (15).
Of the 4A schools, CV and Ferris return the most lettermen. And the Bears were the hottest team in the league at the end of the season, knocking off G-Prep.
“On any given night I believe anybody can beat anybody,” G-Prep coach Dave McKenna said.
“More so this year than other years.”
What slowed CV down early was it played the first half of the season without quarterback Adam Chamberlain, who was academically ineligible.
Chamberlain returns and is poised for a big season. Blocking for Chamberlain are returning starters J.D. Boden, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound right tackle and tight end Beau Byus (6-5, 225). Both are seniors and receiving recruiting interest.
Three other linemen return in seniors Shayne Riordan (6-2, 225), Zach Millard (6-1, 220) and Hunter Wardian (6-2, 235).
“They return a ton,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey said. “At the end of the year they played well. They’ll have Chamberlain right away and he’s a dual threat. We didn’t have to deal with him in Week One.”
The Bears’ biggest holes are at running back and in the secondary.
Ferris returns 15 starters. The Saxons don’t have the marquee, recruitable players they’ve had in recent years, but what they have is more than adequate.
The Saxons return senior Christian Olson at quarterback. Sharkey believes he solved a question mark at running back by moving senior Cole Karstetter, a two-way starter at slotback/defensive back.
“He won’t get many breaks,” Sharkey said. “He’s the rock in the middle of the field on defense at safety.”
The Saxons’ most glaring holes are at wide receiver and linebacker.
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