Lind-Ritzville/Sprague football coach Greg Whitmore is much more optimistic this week than he was a year ago.
That’s not to say he’s taking anything for granted. That’s not in his nature.
A year ago the Broncos weren’t healthy. They had lost three starting offensive linemen – an ominous sign going into the State 2B semifinals.
Defending state champ LRS, 11-0 and winners of 24 straight games, is as healthy as possible this week. The Broncos take on the Adna Pirates (9-3), who are on a bit of a roll, too, having opened the season with three consecutive losses.
Whitmore knows his boys can read a newspaper. He knows his boys understand his team is heavily favored considering the Broncos handled Reardan during league play.
“We expected to be in this position,” Whitmore said. “So we’ve told our kids to enjoy the heck out of it and not take it for granted.”
Whitmore’s excited about finally playing a team outside of Eastern Washington. The way the playoff bracket is set up teams play opponents from their own region until the semifinals.
“We’re playing an opponent that doesn’t know us well like our league opponents,” Whitmore said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Adna is similar to Reardan.
“They run a full bone double tight set and run at you and around you,” Whitmore said.
The Pirates should have their hands full with the versatile Broncos.
LRS wants a return trip to Tacoma.
“We talk about it’s all a ladder,” Whitmore said. “We can’t skip this rung this week. We can’t look beyond today. I won’t let (Tacoma) be a topic in our conversations. Nobody picked Arizona to beat Oregon.”