A year ago, Almira/Coulee- Hartline and Odessa- Harrington finished among the state’s final four, with the Warriors reaching the State 1B finals.
Not bad for a division that had four teams. That is changing. Mansfield has dropped out, but four teams have moved in.
With a seven-team conference, things could become interesting.
New kids on block
Entiat, Pateros, Soap Lake and Waterville have all come down in classification to challenge the “Big Three.”
It will, said new Wilbur-Creston coach Darin Reppe, “add a new dimension to the league.”
The new Wildcats coach is no stranger to Northeast 1B football.
He returns after a two-year absence having previously coached at Sprague-Harrington for seven years with three state appearances.
He then became athletic director. “I just wanted to coach,” he said. “The opportunity came up that was too good to pass.”
Blow to Warriors
Graduation of Almira/Coulee-Hartline’s Derek Isaak was bad enough. Transfer to University by Colin Deyarmin from the State 1B finalists further crimps things for the Warriors.
“Obviously it’s hard to repeat when you lose 85 percent of your offense,” said coach Brandon Walsh.
With all those new teams, coaches at the three hyphenated schools don’t know what to expect, although Walsh said “We have a little bit of past history. A few years ago they were in our league.”
Odessa-Harrington had only one senior last year and ACH has tradition.
Besides QB Jared King, receiver Cade Weber and lineman Gabe Henneman were all-conference.
At ACH, all-conference defender Drew Isaak replaces his brother at QB and several on the team played basketball for the state champs.
Among them is sizeable receiver Thunder Wellhausen. Wilbur-Creston graduated every starter and will build around sophomore quarterback Trystan Rosman.
“Now it’s a matter of getting to know kids and plugging them into the right places,” he said.