Inchelium and Pateros share more in common than their status as Northeast B-8 favorites.
Both quality, experienced teams came up shy last year because of Touchet.
Touchet, out of the Southeast B-8, eliminated Inchelium 63-24 in the State B-8 semifinals, then stopped Pateros 38-24 for the Kingbowl title.
Touchet will again be in the way this year, but not until the NEB-8 race is settled.
From here, Pateros will edge Inchelium for the league title. The NEB-8’s third playoff berth will go to Odessa, with Cusick (fourth place) and Columbia in pursuit. Lind will avoid the cellar by stopping Wellpinit, which returns to a full varsity program for the first time in a decade or so.
Sprague-Harrington and Entiat, state quarterfinalists last year, have grown and joined B-11 leagues.
Returning first-team all-leaguers are receiver Jayson Melcher, Odessa; quarterback Patrick Hunter, defensive end Garrett Zwar and defensive back Shaun Moore, Pateros; and defensive lineman Jason Schumacher and linebacker Galen Desautel, Inchelium.
1994 record: 4-3, 6-5; fourth; state semifinalist
Coach: Ron Washington
Years coaching: Fifth
Coach’s record: 25-15
Top returners: Jason Schumacher, 5-11, 215, sr., FB/DG; Galen Desautel, 5-10, 185, jr., RB/LB; Clint Desautel, 5-10, 165, sr., R/CB; Casey Finley, 5-7, 145, jr., RB/CB; Mike Finley, 6-0, 170, sr., R/DE; Shawn Christianson, 6-3, 225, sr., TE/DL; Billy Evans 5-11, 190, jr., OG.; J.D. Finley, 5-11, 160, jr., QB/DB.
Top newcomers: Joe Pakootas, 5-10, 175, sr., RB/ LB.
Quick kicks: The roster includes 10 seniors, 10 juniors and one freshman. Inchelium started 1-3 last year with a young group.
Coach’s comment: “I don’t know if you’d call us loaded or not, but we have a lot of good football players. We’ll be all right. We’ll give some people some trouble.”
Outlook: Pateros must play at Inchelium on a Saturday in late October. That Hornets’ home game should decide the title.
1994 record: 3-4, 3-6; fifth
Coach: Myron Kramer
Years coaching: 15th
Coach’s record: 143-47-8
Top returners: Jayson Melcher, 6-3, 190, sr., WR/ DB; Randy Carlson, 6-2, 170, jr., QB; Lance Meise, 5-9, 175, jr., RB/DB; Josh Pitts, 5-8, 205, jr., OG/LB; Sean Moon, 5-6, 145, jr., R/DB; Phillip McClanahan, 5-11, 160, sr., RB/LB; Steven Walter, 5-8, 210, jr., G; Dusty Roller, 5-10, 170, jr., C; Daryl Costlow, 6-4, 215, sr., OL/DL.
Top newcomers: Troy Grall, 6-3, 210, jr., QB/DE; Joel Bell, 5-8, 160, jr., RB/DE; Dan Jennings, 5-9, 150, sr., R; Jared Praetorius, 6-2, 215, soph., G; Joel Hardung, 5-7, 150, soph., RB/LB; Jeff Goetz, 5-8, 215, jr., DL.
Quick kicks: The two-time state champion Tigers loaded up their non-league schedule with games against Touchet and LaCrosse-Washtucna.
Coach’s comment: “I believe we’re going to step in and be a factor. When you get knocked down, you have to get right back up.”
Outlook: Odessa will take its shot at Pateros in the league’s final game. Whatever the outcome, Odessa should be playoff-bound.
1994 record: 2-5, 3-6; tied sixth
Coach: Fred Vogel
Years coaching: 31st
Coach’s record: 183-116
Top returners: Kyle Ring, 5-8, 170, sr., FB/LB; Travis Stigall, 5-10, 180, sr., RB/CB; Sonny Finley, 6-1, 250, sr., OG/DT; Duke Birchall, 6-1, 185, sr., OG/ DE; Ron Russell, 6-2, 200, sr., E; Brad Scott, 6-0, 155, sr., QB; Clint Birchall, 5-9, 210, jr., C/LB
Top newcomers: Justin Finley, 5-10, 180, jr., RB/LB; Joe Akai, 5-6, 150, jr., RB/LB
Quick kicks: Cusick should be B-11 by 1997, so Vogel has scheduled a non-league, 11-man game against Curlew and plans to construct a line with an 11-man look.
Coach’s comment: “We have good players coming back and we have size. I wish we had more speed.”
Outlook: The Panthers are front-runners for the playoffs if any of the three favorites wilts.
1994 record: 2-5, 4-5; tied sixth
Coach: Chuck Wyborney
Years coaching: Fourth
Coach’s record: 16-13
Top returners: Seth Hoiland, 5-10, 170, sr., QB/LB; Curtis Hooper, 6-0, 225, sr., OG/DE; Josh Bangert, 6-0, 190, sr., TE/LB; Ryan Smith, 5-10, 180, jr., C/DE; Matt Neidhart, 5-8, 140, sr., RB/CB.
Top newcomers: Beau Ward, 6-2, 180, sr., G, transfer from Montana; James Henke, 5-10, 230, sr., OG/DE.
Quick kicks: Hoiland, Bangert, Hooper and Smith played for the ‘93 team that made the state semifinals.
Coach’s comment “We feel we have a lot to prove after kind of embarrassing ourselves last year. We have to redeem ourselves.”
Outlook: Its offensive line is solid, but Columbia’s better days may belong to its strong freshman class. The Lions will know for sure after non-league games with Pateros and Inchelium.
1994 record: 0-7, 0-9; eighth
Coach: Dave Balcom
Years coaching: Fifth; first at Lind
Coach’s record: 23-22
Top returners: Rigo Montejano, 5-10, 195, sr., FB/ LB; Medie Ruiz, 5-5, 140, sr., FL/LB; Kevin Pennel, 6-2, 190, sr., R/S; Omar Montejano, 5-8, 160, jr., QB.
Top newcomers: Keith Sackmann, 6-3, 205, jr., T
Quick kicks: Lind principal and athletic director Balcom replaces John Foulkes, who was 0-9 during a single season.
Coach’s comment: “I think the numbers are really down. We’re down to about 16 kids… . We’ve done it before. When we were 4-4 (in the early 1990s) we only had 14 (players).”
Outlook: Probably no miracles abound, but Montejano is said to be within 50 tackles of the state B-8 record.
1994 record: JV schedule
Coach: Jerry Hombel
Years coaching: Fifth; first at Wellpinit
Coach’s record: Unknown
Top players: Randy Abrahamson, 5-9, 220, sr., FB/ DL; Robert Dennison, 6-0, 185, sr., RB/DE; Alex Flett, 5-8, 180, sr., OG/LB; Deano Dennison, 5-10, 175, soph., QB/RB/CB; Tony Hombel, 5-11, 180, jr., QB/R; Donnie LeBret, 6-0, 180, jr., R/DE; Tyrone Andrew, 5-9, 160, jr., K/LB; Lance Garett, 5-10, 185, jr., C/DL; Justin Stanger, 5-11, 200, jr., OG/DT.
Quick kicks: Hombel also coached Wellpinit during its last full varsity season.
Coach’s comment: “This year, we’re pushing 40 kids out there. We’re just going to take it game by game.”
Outlook: Here’s the Redskins’ welcome-back prize: a league opener against Pateros.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: NEB-8 SCHEDULE Sept. 8 Falls Christian at Wellpinit, 4 p.m. Cusick at Rosalia, 7 p.m. Odessa at Touchet, 3 p.m. St. John-Endicott at Inchelium, 7 p.m. Inchelium at St. John-Endicott, 7 p.m. La Crosse-Washtucna at Lind, 4 p.m. Columbia at Pateros, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 St. John-Endicott at Lind, 3:30 p.m. Inchelium at Columbia, 3 p.m. La Crosse-Washtucna at Odessa, 7 p.m. Rosalia at Cusick, 7 p.m. Sept. 22 Lind at Columbia, 3:30 p.m. Odessa at St. John-Endicott, 7 p.m. Pateros at Wellpinit, 4 p.m. Cusick at Inchelium, 3 p.m. Sept. 29 Curlew at Cusick, 7 p.m. Wellpinit at Lind, 3:30 p.m. Inchelium at Odessa, 3 p.m. Sept. 30 Pateros at Columbia, 1 p.m. Oct. 6 Lind at Pateros, 7:30 p.m. Columbia at Wellpinit, 4 p.m. Odessa at Cusick, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 Wellpinit at Odessa, 7 p.m. Columbia at Inchelium, 3 p.m. Cusick at Lind, 3 p.m. Oct. 20 Wellpinit at Cusick, 7:30 p.m. Odessa at Columbia, 3 p.m. Oct. 21 Pateros at Inchelium, 1 p.m. Oct. 27 Inchelium at Wellpinit, 3 p.m. Lind at Odessa, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 Cusick at Pateros, Nov. 3 Nov.3 Inchelium at Lind, 2 p.m. Columbia at Cusick, 7:30 p.m. Odessa at Pateros, 7 p.m.
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