August 30, 2012 in Advertorial

GNL story lines

 
Key games: In the red

The WIAA’s season-opening quadrupleheader, usually held at CenturyLink in Seattle, is headed east and will have an all-eastern Washington flavor.

The four games will be held Saturday at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field. In the opener at 10 a.m., Tekoa- Oakesdale/Rosalia takes on Reardan.

In the second game at 1 p.m., Colville faces Freeman. In the third game at 4, East Valley of Yakima faces off with Cheney. And in the nightcap at 7, Greater Spokane League rivals Ferris and Central Valley collide.

On the Web: Find details for the Kickoff Classic, including event ticket prices and contact information, on the WIAA’s website at tinyurl.com/ecclassic

Top returners

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.

Outlook

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

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