Defending champions: American Division–Mt. Spokane; National Division–East Valley. There are no divisions this year.
Projected finish: Mt. Spokane, Ferris, North Central, Shadle Park, EV, Central Valley, University, West Valley, Lewis and Clark, Mead, Clarkston, Gonzaga Prep, Rogers, Cheney.
Returning all-leaguers: First team–Jye Lanphere and Bret Riggin, EV; Chris Bozo and Pat Burke, Ferris; Cameron Joslyn, Mt. Spokane. Second team–Keith Tappe and Marcos Armendariz, Mt. Spokane; Logan Davenport, NC; Kevin Schneider, Mead; Jeremy Templeton, Ferris.
New coaches: Jason Reich, Mead, moves from varsity assistant; Barry Poffenroth, CV, was the Bears boys golf coach and previously coached softball teams to five GSL titles.
Around the horn: The league is wide open among six teams at least, but if pitching wins titles, Mt. Spokane has the advantage despite having just five players back from last year’s division-championship team. “Three were starting pitchers; we’ll be solid on the mound,” said coach Alex Schuerman. “The fact they’ve played a lot of baseball gives us a chance every night.” … Mt. Spokane will have to contend with prolific-hitting Ferris, which has nine varsity veterans. “We do have experience, but we’re kind of youthful still,” said John Thacker, in his 25th year as coach. “If catching firms up and we get some miles out of our junior pitchers, we’ll be OK.” … NC, with veteran pitching (though Davenport is rehabbing a broken toe); Shadle, with a core group of seniors; and U-Hi, with seven returnees, have playoff histories. EV has many of the key ingredients returning from the team with last year’s overall best record, but needs backup pitching for Riggin. “When Bret pitches we’ll be very good, when he doesn’t we’ll be very average,” said coach John Phelan. … CV and Mead have new coaches with postseason ambitions. … The 3A portion of the league is intriguing. WV is junior oriented but experienced. Several played for the State 3A quarterfinalists last year. NC and EV are now there to challenge. … Each team plays 18 league games – some teams twice, others once. … Playoff teams will be determined by overall league standings. Six advance to 4A districts and four to 3A.
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