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GSL title should be Saxons’, not shared

Sun., Nov. 3, 2013, midnight

By Greater Spokane League rule, the Shadle Park and Ferris football teams will be listed as the 2013 co-champions.

It shouldn’t be that way, though. When two teams finish tied for first, a champion – singular – should be declared.

No disrespect to Shadle but the 2013 champion should be Ferris. The Saxons beat the Highlanders when the teams played. Head to head provides the only criteria needed to decide a two-way tie.

Had Shadle defeated Ferris I’d be arguing on behalf of the Highlanders.

This isn’t Park and Rec folks. Not every player should get a participation ribbon and a trip to Dairy Queen for treats.

Fact of the matter is Ferris is the 4A champ and Shadle is the 3A champ. But it’s not likely the league will ever divide into 4A and 3A divisions in any sport. Why? Because it makes too much sense.

In cases where three or more teams finish tied, the title should be shared. And in basketball, if two teams finish deadlocked and the teams split their games, they should be determined co-champions.

Bottom line is no tie should exist when a head-to-head result can break it. Plain and simple.

• So what did September and October tell us about GSL teams? A number of things.

Shadle Park, which earned a share of the league title for the first time since 1999, was as good as expected, if not better. The Highlanders should ride their air attack deep into the postseason.

Not to look too far ahead but if Shadle advances to the semifinals it would face 3A powerhouse Bellevue, the best team on this side of Nevada, Montana, Oregon and Idaho, and ranked last week as the 11th best in the nation.

If such a matchup happens, it would be played at Joe Albi Stadium.

Mt. Spokane didn’t finish eighth as predicted. We can’t get them all right.

The Wildcats got progressively better through the season. The first sign of how good this team could be was when it shut out Mead 10-0.

What solidified the Wildcats’ place in the upper echelon of the GSL was their 45-35 win over Gonzaga Prep – their second quality win over a 4A team.

Central Valley was given way too much preseason respect.

The Bears were a slight favorite to win the league title. What many didn’t know was CV lacked depth.

CV started as many as eight players both ways most of the season. In the Bears’ league finale, they started two freshmen on defense.

Ferris was picked to finish second. So the Saxons ended up being arguably the most consistent team.

• Here are my postseason GSL awards:

Most valuable player goes to the player who clearly raised himself above the rest and, in this case, was a two-way starter – Ferris senior running back/safety Cole Karstetter.

It’s not even open to debate. Name another two-way player that had more of an impact. There isn’t another.

Coach of the year? Shadle’s Alan Stanfield. Again, a no brainer.

Coaching staff of the year? Ferris with G-Prep’s and Mt. Spokane’s deserving mention.

Newcomer of the year? G-Prep running back Jack Bamis.

Offensive MVP? Three guesses and the first two don’t count. No other candidate than Shadle’s Brett Rypien.

Defensive MVP? He’s one of the smallest but pound for pound it’s difficult to measure the size of his heart – G-Prep cornerback Sam Dowd.

Best skill players? Shadle’s receivers, who as a whole were second to none.

• The best players outside of the GSL? Gunnar Amos of Coeur d’Alene, Coleton Collins of Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), Matt James of CdA and Gage Burland of East Valley.

• Teams poised for more than one week of postseason play? Ferris, Shadle, CdA, Freeman and Lind-Ritzville/Sprague.


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