Garfield-Palouse has had the horses to push for a Southeast 1B title in recent years, but 8-man powers Liberty Christian and Sunnyside Christian had the faster steeds.
When Liberty Christian left the league in 2016, Sunnyside Christian ran the table before advancing to the state semifinals.
With six starters back on both sides of the ball, Garfield-Palouse coach Willy Woltering believes the Vikings are capable of dethroning the private school.
“This is the year we might be able to (win the league title),” said Woltering,whose team blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead against Sunny Christian last season. “But like most small schools, we’re an injury away from being mediocre.”
Sunnyside Christian, which won a state basketball title in March, is still the prohibitive favorite and boasts one of the most dangerous weapons in the league in do-everything Chanse Marsh.
But Garfield-Palouse returns Evan Weagraff, a run-first quarterback and all-Southeast 1B selection who rushed for 1,800 yards last year. He’ll share a backfield with Travis Knauff, an all-conference linebacker.
“He’s a tough cookie,” Woltering said of Knauff.
Colton, which tied for second in Southeast 1B play with Pomeroy, and Touchet graduated its most proven commodities. St. John-Endicott looks to break into the win column after a winless campaign..
The league took a hit when Pomeroy, a playoff team last season, opted to play a JV schedule due to a lack of numbers.
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