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Vikings, Chalich rank No. 1 in area

Thu., Sept. 22, 2011

Coeur d’Alene QB Chad Chalich has been overlooked by college recruiters. (File)
Coeur d’Alene QB Chad Chalich has been overlooked by college recruiters. (File)

I can now declare which prep football team is the best in the region. Heck, it could be the best team in the Pacific Northwest. No exaggeration.

Without reservation, without hesitation, without apology, I present to you the Coeur d’Alene Vikings, Idaho’s defending 5A state champs.

I saw the evidence with my own eyes last Saturday evening when the Vikings sped through and around talented Whitney of Rocklin, Calif., 55-6.

The quarterback in search of a scholarship, Chad Chalich of CdA, outplayed the quarterback with a scholarship, Jake Rodrigues, who is headed to the University of Oregon.

Count Rodrigues a fan of Chalich.

“I asked him if he had any offers and he said he didn’t and I was surprised,” Rodrigues said. “He’s a great quarterback. Whatever schools are looking past him are stupid. He’s a great player and leads his team really well. You know what, I’m not a coach, but if I was he’d be my quarterback.”

Reportedly, the knock against Chalich is he’s 6-foot-1. Another 2 inches and he’d have more offers than Goodyear has tires.

Chalich doesn’t have to convince his coach he can play.

“I’ve been watching him since Junior Tackle and I’ve never seen him play poorly,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “There are schools that are missing the boat big time on him. The Big Sky (Conference) schools ought to be drooling over him.”

If the lack of recruiting attention bothers Chalich, he’s not letting on.

“I’m just playing high school football and enjoying it,” Chalich said.

“If you know Chad, he just comes to play,” Amos said. “He’s not worried about anything else. You can’t get him fired up and say, ‘You’ve got to show these guys’. That’s not his personality.”

And, by the way, Chalich is the best QB I’ve seen this year.

Back to Chalich’s team.

CdA was coming off a 52-14 win over Skyview of Vancouver, a playoff-caliber team. Amos was looking forward to how his team stacked up against Whitney.

“Back-to-back weeks we’ve played really good football,” Amos said.

Chalich agreed.

“I’m not shocked by the outcome,” Chalich said. “I know we’re that good. We just have to come out each week and keep improving, keep chopping the wood, to get to the next level and try to repeat.”

With the most difficult part of the schedule behind the Vikings, Amos said the plan now is to guard against complacency.

“This is a pretty mature group and they have pretty high expectations,” Amos said.

The Vikings enjoyed playing Whitney.

“Our kids want this kind of challenge,” Amos said. “They want to play teams like this. They want to show they’re pretty good.”

The Vikings are looking forward to October and the league portion of their schedule.

“The bottom line is we haven’t earned a spot in the playoffs,” Amos said.

“This is a great team we just played,” Rodrigues said. “They played hard and they brought it. They’re really good.”

Ferris was the best team in the region last year, no question. And there’s no question CdA has the area covered this fall.

• Matt Williams, who lives near Boise and coordinated the event Saturday in Moscow, already is planning a quadrupleheader at the Kibbie Dome next year.

He hopes to land CdA, Lake City, Moscow and Lewiston to go against teams from the Sacramento, Calif., area. Williams lived in Sacramento for 10 years before moving to Idaho.

“The gate was good enough that I’m going to do it again,” Williams said.

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