Having watched a handful of Greater Spokane League games and corresponding with followers of other leagues, it is becoming apparant how special last year was, even if the GSL didn't advance anyone to the state's Final Four. Pitching is average at best, which will make for interesting and unpredictable outcomes and unless the rest of the state is comparable, it's difficult to imagine local teams advancing far. That said, University is ranked fifth among State 4A teams in the latest coaches poll and sixth by Tom Wyrich at The Seattle Times.. The caveat? Southridge from the Columbia Basin Big Nine is No. 1 and Richland No. 3 and vice versa at the Times. That's a tough region nut to crack.
Cheney and Clarkston are 5th and 10th in 2A and Lakeside is 7th in 1A as voted by coaches.
Sandy Ringer of the Seattle Times has a softball poll as well and has Mead and University ranked third and fourth. Not sure if I agree with that assessment but maybe it's a down year in the CBBN which would be nice for the GSL which has a thin margin for 4A error both in district and regional. She also has Shadle Park ranked seventh among 3A schools and bumped East Valley into the top 10 following its win over the Highlanders. Exciting times for the Knights.
Also in The Times, Central Valley soccer was picked 10th by Joshua Meyers - the GSL's lone entry.
In my Prep Notebook in The S-R today I wrote about the return of former distance star Rick Riley's return to coaching, helping distance runners at St. George's. He's off with his charges Saturday to the 48th Pasco Invitational, the mid-season showcase for state aspirants.