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Sunday, September 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

Dave Nichols: The first week on the job

Central Valley running back Hunter Chodorowski (33) runs the ball as Gonzaga Prep’s Jacob Parola (24) and Hunter McKenna (25) move in for the tackle during the second half of a GSL high school football game, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at Central Valley High School. The Bears defeated the Bullpups in a GSL 4A showdown. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Central Valley running back Hunter Chodorowski (33) runs the ball as Gonzaga Prep’s Jacob Parola (24) and Hunter McKenna (25) move in for the tackle during the second half of a GSL high school football game, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at Central Valley High School. The Bears defeated the Bullpups in a GSL 4A showdown. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

My editors have graciously allowed me this space on Mondays to use pretty much as I see fit – as a column, an update of league races after games over the weekend, to post a news article or whatever else seems pertinent – as long I keep things to a reasonable length.

As such, allow me some observations from my first week of duty, specifically Friday’s football action.

1. The pace of play in high school football is much quicker from when I played in the stone ages, or from what I remember as a fan. I’ve covered the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA from the press box and the pace in those games was downright leisurely compared to the pace at Central Valley-Gonzaga Prep on Friday. I was genuinely surprised at just how quickly the next play started after the previous one finished. I am going to have to seriously bone up on my football stat keeping skills in order to keep up next week. I’ll catch up.

2. On a related topic, it’s much more difficult to find the coaches and players you want to interview after the game when there are a couple hundred students – in addition to both teams, coaching staffs and several dozen middle schoolers trying to play pickup football – all on the field after the game. Luckily, even though I’m still learning all the mascots I recognized a few faces in the crowd to help me get around.

3. There is, and this is an understatement, a lot of administrative work to this in addition to writing game stories and features. With more than 70 teams in leagues within our delivery footprint, just tracking phone numbers down for everyone is a challenge.

4. As for the play on the field, and not to take away from Central Valley’s big win over Gonzaga Prep, but let me just say Prep’s Devin Culp is a wonderful athlete and I can’t wait to see him playing for the Huskies on Saturdays – perhaps catching passes from Coeur d’Alene’s Colson Yankoff. Culp is big (6-foot-5, 250), fast, and seems to have a real good field presence, knowing when to cut and when to run through or by someone. Every time he touched the ball on Friday he went 20-plus yards and looked like he could bust it.

On the field

CV’s win over Prep sets up another big game this Friday as the Bears travel to Mead. Both teams are 2-0 in league and the winner will likely have the inside tract to the GSL 4A title. Of course, there are several weeks to go before Mead plays at G-Prep on Oct. 27 in the regular season finale.

West Valley is 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the Great Northern and ranked No. 2 in state 2A. The Eagles rolled Pullman 35-14 on Friday and host Cheney this week. East Valley is 1-0 in league as well but 2-3 overall. Regardless, if the Knights can get past Clarkston on the road this week it’ll set up West at East on Oct. 20 with both spotless in league.

In the Northeast A, Freeman and Colville both won on Friday – the Scotties in a close one over Deer Park and the Indians blowout style over Medical Lake. It sets up a matchup of undefeateds this Friday at Colville.

Over in Idaho in the Inland Empire 5A, Coeur d’Alene ran rampant over Lewiston, avenging last year’s 55-51 loss, with a 55-18 win, while Post Falls continued its impressive run with a 49-14 pounding of Lake City. CdA and Post Falls should do similarly this week as they switch opponents, setting up what should be a terrific showdown for the league title at Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 20.

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