Greater Spokane League football teams stepped over the midfield point of the season this week.
So this affords us the opportunity to post mid-semester grades.
Some teams might grade higher than others based largely on who they’ve played and who remains on their schedule. What I find amazing is after five weeks there’s a four-way tie for first.
Ferris (4-1): Few worries. The Saxons have one blemish on their record – the late-game loss to Gonzaga Prep – and it shouldn’t harm them. I see Ferris earning one of the two 4A postseason berths.
The Saxons would have been all but a lock had they withstood G-Prep’s rally.
Ferris is in a stretch in its schedule that allows it to polish and tinker. The Saxons’ two toughest games remaining are against Mt. Spokane and Mead.
Shadle Park (4-1): On track. I pegged the Highlanders to be the best of the 3A lot, and to that end they haven’t disappointed.
The Highlanders have the ingredients to make a deep run in the postseason. Going into last week, they had the second-ranked defense in the league. Their high octane offense speaks for itself.
Shadle’s final four games are all winnable. The biggest challenge is Thursday against Mead.
Mt. Spokane (4-1): Much, much better than expected. There’s usually one team each season that jumps up and shocks me. Last year it was University. This year it’s the Wildcats.
I picked Mt. Spokane to finish eighth. I was several yards wide of the bull’s-eye on that prediction.
The Wildcats were able to ease into the season without quarterback Stu Stiles in the first two games, and they’ve gotten better in his return. They’ll easily earn the second 3A postseason seed.
Two of their final four games are against Ferris and G-Prep.
Gonzaga Prep (4-1): Better than expected. I picked the Bullpups to finish fourth behind Mead. Obviously I didn’t have them beating Ferris – a victory that propelled the Bullpups to the top for a week.
Then Shadle exposed some deficiencies.
If G-Prep wins its final four – and it should – a postseason berth awaits.
Mead (3-2): Middle of the road. I had the Panthers finishing third and on the outside looking in as far as postseason is concerned.
Back-to-back losses to Mt. Spokane and G-Prep has Mead in position to finish out of the postseason picture. The Panthers could get back into the fray by winning out.
Central Valley (3-2): Not up to par – yet. The Bears were my, and the coaches’, choice to win the league title.
We were wrong. What I didn’t realize was the Bears’ lack of depth. They’ve been starting eight players both ways.
The Bears finish with Mead, Shadle and G-Prep in consecutive weeks. That’s a gauntlet if I’ve ever seen one.
University (1-4): A far cry from last year. The Titans have struggled mightily. Their losses to graduation on defense have been magnified.
Still, their final game against North Central will decide which 3A team earns the final postseason berth. So the Titans need to use the next three games to get ready for that showdown.
Lewis and Clark (1-4): Could be better, could be worse. The Tigers had a difficult start to their season.
LC won’t phone in the season. They have too much pride and coaches who will challenge them to reach beyond their abilities.
North Central (1-4): Still in the hunt. The Indians will likely take some more lumps, but they still have much to play for.
NC is still in the chase for the third 3A postseason berth.
Rogers (0-5): Future is bright. Matt Miethe’s crew may not have much to play for this season, but with a solid sophomore class there’s hope on the horizon.