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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Knights looking to succeed against 3A opponents

Every Greater Spokane League football game counts toward determining this year’s four 4A and two 3A playoff teams. So East Valley’s second win in as many years over Central Valley last Friday was important.

But winning over a 4A team won’t mean as much unless EV has head-to-head success against the other 3A classification schools in league.

“If you lose (to a 3A school), you’ve got to win two more games,” said coach Adam Fisher, doing the math.

The Knights (1-1, 1-2 overall) play all four of their counterparts over the next five weeks. Three come in succession, two at home, Friday against Cheney and the following week against Clarkston. Then they play North Central at Albi Stadium.

Currently, 3A teams are among the GSL’s best. Clarkston is unbeaten, including a narrow victory over new 3A school NC (1-1, 2-1), which upset Shadle Park last week.

Cheney (1-1, 2-1) has already beaten West Valley, which an Eagle assistant coach said, played right with LC last Thursday, except for the eight-minute span in the second quarter when the Tigers scored four times.

EV was a different team than the one that lost its first two games, coaches agreed, that took it to CV, 28-13.

“We were a much better football team, obviously, than the first two weeks showed,” said Fisher. “Each position stepped up dramatically.”

And the team is getting healthier. Wide receiver/defensive back George Hamilton was back in the lineup. Another WR/DB, Grant Bruscoe, who sprained his ankle in the season opener against Coeur d’Alene, is expected back for Cheney.

“The strength of our team had been our skill guys,” said Fisher. “We didn’t get anybody hurt this game, and now with the offensive and defensive line playing better, I’m pleased with the progress.”

Last week’s game featured hard hitting on both sides early, including by CV’s 6-5, 256-pound junior defensive lineman C.E. Kaiser.

“The first couple of isolation plays, I tell you what, some plastic was thrown around,” said Fisher.

But EV’s speed and explosiveness, both by the line and its backfield, ultimately took a toll. Friday, the Knights will be tested by Cheney sprinter Brett Igbinoba.

This afternoon at 4:30 p.m., the Bears are at Albi against Shadle.

Also home on Friday are injury-plagued University versus Clarkston, and WV against winless Rogers.

After two weeks Titan quarterback J.D. Peterson is second in the league in yardage with 311 and two touchdowns. Matt Hanna is fifth in receiving with 11 catches for 124 yards.

WV’s Cameron Bowman is the leading Valley rusher with 126 yards on 23 carries. CV quarterback Camren Ebat is fourth in scoring with for touchdowns.


• East Valley cross country runner Nick Atwood won the junior race during last weekend’s Highlander Invitational. It may have been, said coach Dave McCarty, a first for the school.

“You’d have to go back to Duke Bachelor or Ernie Aguilar (over 20 years ago), and I don’t know if they ever did,” McCarty said.

EV was a late addition to the meet. McCarty has taken his team to the Seaport Invitational in Clarkston for the last several years, but couldn’t get transportation this year.

Atwood was the beneficiary, clocking 13:02 for 2.5 miles.

“Right after the mile is where I wanted to get the lead,” he said. “And I didn’t want to look back.”

• A hat trick moved University’s Tonya Schnibbe up among the top goal scorers in GSL soccer history. Unofficially, she now has 40. Only Stacy Clinesmith, with 42, has a higher total over the last decade. The unbeaten Titans host Gonzaga Prep Friday in a match of last year’s state qualifiers.

• Each season for the past three, U-Hi’s volleyball team has continually reached milestones. Last weekend was no different with its championship of the Kentlake Invitational.

“This is the first time in our team’s history that we’ve won anything, really, so it’s a huge thing for us,” coach Amanda Velasquez was quoted in The Seattle Times. “We didn’t come in thinking we were going to win this, that wasn’t our intent. We wanted to continue to make improvements.”

U-Hi’s first achievement, in 2002, was a berth in the eastern regional playoffs. Last season the team competed in its first state tournament.

Kentlake has been a measuring stick for Titan progress. The previous two seasons they placed 13th, then sixth. In this year’s 30-team tourney, U-Hi was seeded 11th in the 12-team championship bracket after finishing second in its pool. It won four straight matches, including over Issaquah, Ferris and White River without losing a game, and beat last year’s third-place state finisher Spanaway Lake 25-21, 25-17 for the title.

GSL teams proved dominant, Shadle Park finishing third, Gonzaga Prep fifth and Ferris seventh in the tourney.

Tonight the Titans are at Prep and Tuesday visit defending state champion Mead in key league contests.