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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington preps: Sankey shouldn’t have to sit

Gonzaga Prep junior back Bishop Sankey has rushed for more than 200 yards in each of four football games this season.

Sankey must sit out Friday against Rogers after being ejected from the Bullpups’ non-league contest last week at Lake City.

After watching the film clip on G-Prep’s Vizio flat screen, from all appearances the incident at the most warranted an unsportsmanlike conduct flag. (The second guy always gets caught.) It certainly didn’t warrant ejection.

The play was a fake to Sankey, who ran over one tackle and was brought down by an ankle tackle. The defender needlessly rolled up his ankle and Sankey reacted. It took a couple of views (and slow motion) to see him reach over the top, push the defender with his arm – not a closed fist punch – extricate himself from the tangle, stand up and walk calmly away, back to the play.

It seemed so innocuous that the official later told Bullpups activities coordinator Paul Manfred and coach Dave McKenna that by Idaho protocol Sankey wouldn’t have had to sit out the next game. But this is Washington and the WIAA ruled differently.

“We want the kids to understand there is a life lesson out of it and they have to stay positive,” said Manfred, taking the high road. “It is an unfortunate situation.”

But McKenna wants Sankey to be vindicated, saying that he is a great person.

“He’s an awesome kid, not malicious,” McKenna said. “He should be cleared of wrongdoing, in my opinion.”

Sankey can one day make history in the GSL. Schools such as Louisiana State and Alabama have sent him mail. He’s already rushed for nearly 900 yards this season, 243 coming in a little more than a half at Lake City.

Yet he will be denied the opportunity to add to that this week, which is a shame, based on what on film seemed relatively insignificant.

“I’m a team guy, but I know that he has a chance to do something special because of the guys around him,” McKenna said.

McKenna believes that policy should be changed and ejections reviewed on film to determine if there’s need for punitive action. After what I saw, I’m inclined to agree.

Saxons in Anaheim

It’s alumni week at Esperanza High in Anaheim, Calif., and traveling there from Spokane to be the Aztecs’ football foe this week is Ferris. The Saxons are facing a program that has won four straight league championships and the year before made the sectional semifinals.

“They are really good and it will be a great game for us,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey told me earlier this year.

Sharkey said the school had two byes in a row and was in need of a game. The Saxons took them up on it and raised the money to make the trip.

“It’s just a great reward for our kids,” he said. “We have not done this before, and it’s a chance to get out of our comfort zone.”

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