GNL Preview Football
Drew Clausen, sr., QB, WV; Cruze Thompson, sr., Colville, OL/DL; Wade Meyer, sr., OL/DL, Pullman; Alex Wolf, sr., RB, Deer Park; Reid White, sr., OL, Deer Park; Max Harris, sr., K, Cheney; Hovik Melkonyan, sr., DL, WV; Casey Cox, sr., DL.
DeAngelo Jones, sr., QB, Cheney; Justin Robinett, sr. TE, Clarkston; Will Leonard, sr., OL, Deer Park; Sam Schoesler, sr., LB, WV; Wolf, DB, Deer Park; Nate Swanger, sr., DB, Pullman; Nick Rimmelspacher, sr., DB, Clarkston.
Favored Colville brings back most of its team, including two quarterbacks who played last year and a third in the mix. Jade Dorman returns from injury, so Sawyer Bardwell will likely play receiver and Cody Thew at running back. “I’ve never had this before,” coach Randy Cornwell said. “And the biggest thing I’ve seen is we’re physically more mature.” The Indians also have three offensive and all four defensive linemen back, plus veteran skilled kids. … Pullman lost key two-way players and GNL MVPs Cody Weber and Jared Weber. “They are irreplaceable,” coach Craig McCormick said. But Calvin Odell and Wade Meyer step in. “Calvin might have been the best guy on the team, who we turned into a guard last year and didn’t get on the field too much defensively, which is a crying shame. Wade’s a player.” … West Valley may field the most depth as coach Craig Whitney listed several players per position. Deer Park is coming off its best season in a while. “I am not sure we can sneak up on people,” coach Keith Stamps said. “I hope we are ready to play at these teams’ level.” He is one of the many who believe Cheney is the most athletic team on paper, with Jones and Moore-Young on college radar. But coach Jason Williams is concerned about his line.
Looks can be deceiving and any preseason prediction likely will come a cropper when you consider that no team went unbeaten in the Great Northern League last year and six teams were separated by two games. Add in the number of one-touchdown or overtime decisions (10) and it’s clear that a bounce here or there would have changed the ultimate standings. … No GNL coach picked his team to finish higher than third, although most have a dozen and more starters returning. … Pullman has a new coach in McCormick, but he’s a familiar figure, having coached there off and on for nearly 20 years.