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Friday, December 6, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Area sports

A Grip on Sports: High school football is beginning –just in time

West Valley High School QB Matt Allen handles to football during practice on Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
West Valley High School QB Matt Allen handles to football during practice on Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • You know when this work week is half over, high school football in this area will be in full swing, don’t you? Yep. All that work the neighbor kid has been putting in since school got out in June is about to be put into practice.

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• If you believe summer is a time for rest and relaxation, more power to you. Especially if you can pull it off. Parents of high school kids who live and breath sports often don’t get to see it that way.

For the past couple of months, most of them, I’m sure, had a calendar on a wall somewhere – OK, so it’s on an app these days, but bear with me – on which they kept the schedules of summer sports practices. On it is Jimmy’s football lifting and his baseball games. There are Josephine’s basketball tournaments and soccer practices. Every day, from June to mid-August almost, there is probably something to enter into a schedule in preparation for this week – or next Monday in Washington if you aren’t a football player.

At first glance it seems as of the days of the three-sport athlete in high school is gone. It would make sense, considering how much time each sport demands in the offseason.

You want to be a star basketball player? You better be ready for lifting, team practices, tournaments, camps, individual workouts and just plain time spent in a gym. Football is your sport? Then there is the weight work, 7-on-7, watching film, camps and speed training. Soccer, volleyball, baseball, they all have their time demands as well, from camps to games, from workouts to weights.

It never seems to end.

And yet, some kids, and their parents as well, find a way to fulfill the time commitments for more than one sport – and shine in them. It isn’t easy. Many of them have been running from workout to workout much of the summer. It seems, at times, it was easier to organize D-Day than to get a ninth-grade kid from volleyball to soccer to softball to basketball workouts in mid-July.

Which brings us to Wednesday, the first day of football practice in Washington. Next Monday all the other fall sports kick in. (If you are reading this in Idaho, you are already blissfully involved in fall activities.)

All the running around is over. There is one sport, and one sport only, to focus on. Every day it is about football or volleyball or cross country or soccer (on the girls’ side).  The “or” is important. No more being pulled in seven different directions. No more trying to figure out how to be in two places at once. It’s time to exhale, to pause, to look around – and get run over by a 240-pound tackle who transferred in from Arizona over the summer.

Yep, high school football is getting underway.

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WSU: Maybe you can’t book it just yet, but it sure seems as if Anthony Gordon will be the quarterback when Washington State begins the 2019 schedule against New Mexico State. Theo Lawson got a close-to-final admission from Mike Leach after last night’s practice. … It was a busy Sunday for Theo, who began with a mailbag, threw in a story on a highly sought high school linebacker including WSU in his final six schools (along with UW and Oregon) and ended it with video interviews with Leach, assistant coach Dave Nichol, quarterback Cammon Cooper and cornerback Shahman Moore. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Washington is dealing with injuries. … Oregon State is trying to figure out the lineup. … There have been some freshmen standing out for Oregon. … Colorado and Utah are seeing progress at linebacker. … UCLA is working on its special teams. … Arizona State is getting ready for Kent State. … In basketball news, Oregon has picked up another highly sought-after recruit.

EWU: SWX is going to broadcast even more Eagle and Idaho games this season. … Around the Big Sky, Montana State held a scrimmage Saturday. … So did Idaho State. … Weber State is trying to build depth. … Injuries have hit the Northern Arizona offensive line.

Indians: Eugene scored in the top of the ninth and made it stand up in a 2-1 win at Avista over Spokane. Dave Nichols was there and has this story. … Elsewhere in the Northwest League, Hillsboro helped the Indians by defeating Tri-City. … Everett lost at Salem-Keizer.

Seahawks: So we could have written a lot more about the second Hawk preseason game, a 25-19 loss to Minnesota, but we didn’t watch all of it. The first part, sure, when it was painfully obvious the new challenge rules pertaining to pass interference are going to be more aggravating than anyone thought. And the Hawks’ starters were just fine. We also checked in occasionally whenever the in-house focus group let out a groan or a cheer. One thing we did notice: The Hawks’ reserves seemed to be getting hurt often. … The roster situation may have been cleared up a little bit after the game, but maybe not.

Mariners: Is it coincidence the day after Gene Warnick chastises Yusei Kikuchi in our Out of Right Field column, Kikuchi throws a two-hit shutout? Yes it is. Just as it is coincidence Kyle Seager has been on fire lately. … J.P. Crawford isn’t hitting like he was, but that’s to be expected. … Ryan Divish has a mailbag from over the weekend.

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• Let’s hope the weather stays this nice for all the high school football players out there. It’s kind of perfect right now to be outside practicing. Until later …

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