The first Thursday in July got me to thinking. It’s not too early to talk high school football, right?
Let’s put this in context. The first game involving a Greater Spokane League team is eight weeks away.
Here are some very, very early observations.
The GSL will be down overall this fall.
This year, the 4A teams receive three postseason berths and the 3A teams receive two.
Go ahead and lock up the top 4A and 3A spots for Gonzaga Prep and Mt. Spokane. And Mead should win enough high-scoring games to get the second 4A berth. Central Valley will be the best of the rest and take no worse than the third berth.
Shadle Park – behind the best returning quarterback, junior Carson Doyle, and senior running back Xavier Wicks – will get the second 3A berth.
G-Prep has set the standard among 4A teams in recent years and Mt. Spokane has done the same in the 3A four-team pool.
G-Prep will be led by versatile seniors Devin Culp (receiver) and Sam Lockett (defensive back/receiver). They’ve seemingly been around for years. The Bullpups have the makings of a solid offensive line with three returners.
The big question mark is at quarterback. The Bullpups will likely move a running back to QB in their run-based offense.
Mt. Spokane had no problem earning a postseason berth last year while fielding one of its youngest teams ever. And they had to overcome a pile of injuries, forcing more youth to play.
With much experience back, expect the Wildcats to challenge as the best 3A team in eastern Washington.
Mead returns receivers Lucas Bacon, who is coming off ACL surgery, and Joseph Heitman, arguably one of the best versatile athletes in the region and state. They were both first team all-league picks last fall.
CV has some re-tooling to do but has the largest student body in the league from which to choose players.
Ferris, Lewis and Clark and University will be competitive amongst themselves but aren’t likely to challenge G-Prep, Mead and CV.
It’ll be interesting what happens at Ferris with the short turnaround involving former LC coach Tom Yearout taking over.
Mark these dates on your calendar: CV vs. Mead at Albi Stadium, Oct. 13, and the final week of play, Mt. Spokane vs. Shadle Park, Oct. 26, and Mead at G-Prep, Oct. 27.
The schedule allows for what should be two entertaining finales for the 4A and 3A titles.
If it all plays out how I see it now – eight weeks until the first game and 16 weeks until the end of October.
Obviously much could change between now and then. But at least this is a good place to start the conversation.
If it seemed that GSL teams were continually traveling to Mid-Columbia Conference sites for subregional championship matchups last year in every sport, well you weren’t seeing things.
In 2017-18, if the GSL’s top 4A and 3A seeds advance to subregional finals, those events will be in the Spokane area.
The GSL and MCC agreed last year to allow the MCC to host subregional finals and it switches beginning this fall.
Details are still being worked out but the 4A and 3A subregional basketball tournament will be played at the Spokane Arena this winter.