GNL story lines
Here are the returning first team all-league players: Keith Goulding, offensive/defensive lineman, West Valley; Sergio Rodriguez, OL/DL, Deer Park; Eric Igbinoba, wide receiver/defensive back, Cheney; Terrynce Duke, WR/DB, WV; Adam Talley, running back/kickoff returner, East Valley; Colby Ruark, RB, Clarkston; Zach Corean, DL, Cheney; Joel Paul, DL, Pullman; Coleman White, LB, Cheney; J.T. Phelan, DB, EV.
As many as four teams are considered contenders for the league title and two automatic state playoff berths.
But all teams in the league should be competitive including Colville, which returns to the league after two years in 1A.
Road to the playoffs
There are no play-in, Tuesday games this year.
The top two teams advance to the playoffs and the Central Washington Athletic Conference receives three berths.
What they’re saying
EV will be without two starters and a third won’t play until the second quarter of the Knights’ season opener.
It comes down to accountability, coach Adam Fisher said. The players missed practice time when they attended a club sport event.
“The accountability piece is important to us,” Fisher said.
Fisher believes turnovers could be the difference in most league games.
“As we say in football, more games are lost than won,” he said.
Deer Park head coach Keith Stamps pointed out that the league doesn’t return a lot of big-name players. Which team’s players step up fastest will be key, he said.
“Whoever is third in our league will be a pretty good team,” the Stags’ coach said. “We have a good mix of returning players with better depth than we have had in past years.”
Predicted order of finish
1. East Valley, 2. West Valley, 3. Deer Park, 4. Cheney, 5. Clarkston, 6. Colville, 7. Pullman