Central Valley’s football team has scarcely been tested since its shaky season-opening win over Ferris.
But tonight CV faces what should be their sternest test as they enter the meat of the Greater Spokane League schedule.
Mead, 4-1 and fresh off last Friday’s upset victory over Gonzaga Prep, is the opponent in the 5 p.m. game at Albi Stadium. Following in succession on CV’s schedule are rival University, the once-beaten Bullpups and Lewis and Clark.
“It’s going to be a good stretch and great for the kids,” said CV coach Rick Giampietri. “If we’re going to be a good playoff team you’ve got to have these games. We’re getting excited about it.”
The 5-0 Bears have averaged 48 points a game during their last four triumphs.
They’ve been so dominant that in three of the triumphs the starters watched from the sidelines for the better part of the second halves.
“Three games with 42 points in the first half,” said Giampietri. “That’s unheard of.”
Since the beginning of the season, when one coach put down several CV’s in succession while picking the finishing order of league, the Bears have been a heavy GSL favorite.
Junior Tyree Clowe has already rushed for 686 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in the team’s explosive offense. Included were 189 yards and three scores in CV’s 49-6 win Friday over North Central.
But Giampietri doesn’t think anyone should concede a title to the Bears just yet.
“People forget that we’ve had an awful lot of short fields,” he said. “Our execution has been good, but we’re getting a lot of turnovers.”.
He credited jarring tackles by the defense, keyed by the disruptive powers of nose guard Wil Beck causing the damage.
While it’s true CV fields the biggest team in the league - “They’re so big, they’re illegal,” said Mead coach Bob McCray - the Panthers have good size, an explosive backfield and have won 10 of the last 13 meetings between the two schools.
“They’ve got more than enough guys to run with us,” said Giampietri. “We don’t have anything easy the rest of the way.”
University, which led Pasco 7-6 at halftime and had several long runs nullified by penalty or fumble during the 27-7 loss, completes tonight’s Albi doubleheader against Rogers.
Soccer thriller between rivals
Only in soccer can a sporting contest be as electrifying and as exasperating as last Friday’s match between University and Central Valley.
The two schools, jockeying for playoff position, went the full 80 minutes and then some without scoring a point.
“It’s two rivals just playing solid defense and tough soccer,” said CV coach Craig Griffiths. “These are friends who don’t want to lose to their buddies.”
It took a shootout, following 10 minutes of scoreless overtime, for the Titans to prevail. Their shooters made four goals to CV’s one.
U-Hi outshot the Bears 8 to 5 during a well-played first half that emphasised exceptional individual skills and brilliant goal keeping by CV’s Natasha Opsal.
After coach Brandon Deyarmin exhorted U-Hi players, “don’t be afraid to outside counterattack, that’s our game,” the Titans turned up the heat.
They outshot CV 10-1 but again Opsal came up with three great saves to send it into overtime.
U-Hi is in the middle of an important series of three matches. On Friday at 7 p.m. the Titans host unbeaten Mead, which could be for the league championship.
The Bears host once-beaten Lewis and Clark Friday at 4 p.m. and Mead next Wednesday.
Taking no chances
A year ago Central Valley’s volleyball team misread the schedule and missed a GSL counter during the Spokane Crossover Classic tournament.
This year, when the bus was late to pick up the team, coach Bernie Hite took no chances. The players jumped into their cars to make sure they got to Ferris on time for their 7:30 a.m. match against Gonzaga Prep.
The Bears lost to the Bullpups, falling behind 8-0 in the first game and blowing a 12-5 second game lead.
“It’s those nasty funks,” said Hite. “We get into one and can’t get out of it.”
The team played without Loni Knigge, involved in Saturday’s big marching band competition at Albi Stadium. But the Bears are 6-9 in league with three matches remaining. Two wins would put them in the district playoffs for a second straight year.
“My main concern is we use the ability we have,” said Hite. “We’re not blue chippers but we can still make good decisions.”
CV finished 30th out of 36 teams at the Crossover tournament.
University finished 25th.
The Bears host twice-beaten Mead and the Titans host fifth-place Rogers Friday night.
YMCA sports sign-up
Registration continues for YMCA boys and girls basketball and indoor soccer.
Basketball is for grades 4-9. A sign-up late fee will be charged for registrations after Oct. 20.
Teams begin with a pre-season jamboree on Nov. 8 and will play seven games on Saturdays between Nov. 15 and Jan. 17.
A single-elimination tournament will follow on successive Saturdays for grades 5-9.
Indoor soccer registration continues through Oct. 24, with a late fee for registration thereafter. Games are played beginning Nov. 15.
A coaches meeting for basketball will be Oct. 28 and for soccer on Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m. at North Pines Junior High.
For information contact 927-1474.