With returning starters at quarterback, along both offensive and defensive line and every assistant coach back from the program’s first bowl trip in a decade, excitement swirled around the Washington State football team in 2014. That passion was quickly doused when the Cougars lost their first two games despite being favored in both. Mike Leach and his team will attempt to turn last season into a temporary blip in the program’s positive momentum with what he has called his best team yet at WSU.
If anyone is synonymous with Intermountain League football championships it’s Timberlake coach Roy Albertson. Entering his 13th season after “retiring” from a similar position at Chewelah, Albertson has directed Timberlake to 10 league titles, including the last six, and 12 straight trips to the playoffs.
Satini Puailoa returned for his second stint as Sandpoint’s head coach in 2012 and the season opener offered a memorable, telling moment. The Bulldogs punted against East Valley and the Knights started hollering “Peter,” so their players would steer clear of the bouncing football.
Coeur d’Alene, Lake City, Lewiston or Post Falls is going to win the 5A Inland Empire League title and host a state playoff game. Coeur d’Alene, Lake City, Lewiston or Post Falls is going to finish second and make the postseason. And Coeur d’Alene, Lake City, Lewiston or Post Falls is going to take third and have a shot at an at-large berth. In other words, each program can make a convincing case in what could be a wide open IEL race.
The football has been in Ty Graham’s hands since he was out of diapers, so why stop now? Last year, the Cheney star saw action at almost every skill position – running back, quarterback and receiver – in addition to defensive back.
All of the signs pointed to Freeman last year. The Scotties, basking in the glow from their 2013 State 1A title, opened last season on the national radar, ranked 25th by CBS MaxPreps among schools with 1,000 or fewer students.
Craig Tefft enters his sixth season at St. Maries more excited than he’s ever been. The excitement is palatable through town, too.
There’s really no question as to what Matt Linehan’s low point of his redshirt freshman season was. He threw three interceptions and fumbled twice in a home contest versus Arkansas State. Coach Paul Petrino benched him the next week at San Diego State.
Jared Young is just the third coach in four decades at Wallace. He follows in the big steps of Dave Rounds, who followed in the big shadow of Norm Walker.
The quality of play in the GSL 3A isn’t likely to be as deep as in 4A. The easy pick to win is Mt. Spokane, a team that’s been there and done that. And Rogers has the inside track to qualify for the postseason for the first time in school history. Here’s a look around the league: