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Saturday, March 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: The long wait is over as the S-R’s annual football section is here

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. (8) hauls in a pass during a practice on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Sacajawea Jr. High School in Lewiston, ID. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. (8) hauls in a pass during a practice on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Sacajawea Jr. High School in Lewiston, ID. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • How is your Thursday going? You know college football really gets going tonight, right? And that the Seahawks finish out the preseason? So you already knew today was going to be busy. Well, add a little light reading to your list. Yep, today’s the day for the annual Spokesman-Review football preview section.


• We’re going to refrain from giving you our thoughts today, other than to say if you live somewhere near the S-R’s delivery area, then you should find a hard copy of the paper and buy it. That way you don’t have to race through the stories, stories that range from the explanatory (a look at the Air Raid from a quarterback’s perspective) to the sublime (season predictions for all the local teams) and on to the ridiculously funny (a column from sports editor Ralph Walter).

We didn’t count the stories in today’s sports section and special football section, mainly because I’m too tired to take my slippers off and I would need my toes. But we did run down the links, and have them in the usual sections below. If you prefer, however, to examine the section in its entirety, we also have the link to the main page. From there, you can find every story.



WSU: Where to start? We will look forward, with Theo Lawson’s game-like look at the season ahead, as well as his responses to readers’ predictions. … Theo also has a story on Washington State’s wide receiver corps as well as a piece on a former Cougar assistant coaching at New Mexico State, Saturday's opponent. … Dan Thompson pitches in with two stories about the Air Raid, one centered around quarterback Connor Halliday, the other with thoughts from Alex Brink. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Washington’s season ahead is also covered in our special section with two stories from John Blanchette, including a prediction. The Huskies could actually be better this season. … Oregon has an opener at a NFL stadium, with a national TV audience looking on. … Oregon State has an opener at home with a crowd looking on that will also see a whole bunch of upgrades. … Colorado opens against an in-state rival. … So does Utah, which begins tonight at BYU. It could be a special season for the Utes, if it isn’t derailed right at the start. … UCLA also starts tonight against the same school that ruined Chip Kelly’s debut a year ago. … USC has an outstanding wide receiver. … Arizona State also begins tonight with a freshman quarterback taking the first snap. … When it's all over, as many as nine Pac-12 teams should appear in bowl games.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs break up today’s football monopoly thanks to a Jim Allen story on a recent European trip by the women’s team. If you follow the team on a social media site, you know they had a good time.

EWU: Back to football with the Eagles, as Ryan Collingwood notes there is only one step this year’s team needs to take to improve on last year. … He also previews the season with the game scenario and has a look at the opener, Saturday at Washington.

Idaho: The Vandals have a lot of new faces, so Peter Harriman’s story is based on the game “Guess Who.” … The prediction here is they will be more successful in their second year back in the Big Sky.

Whitworth: The Pirates have a chance to be perfect in Northwest League play, but as Dan points out, the late-season game with Linfield will be the biggest roadblock. … Dan also has his predictions

Preps: Dave Nichols has a story on the big appetites of prep offensive linemen. … Jim Meehan has previews of the 5A and 4A Inland Empire League races. The Idaho schools open play this week.

Indians: A late call went Spokane’s way, Joe Corbett shut down Everett in the ninth and the Indians won 6-4. Dave has the story. … Around the Northwest League, Eugene lost to Salem-Keizer and was eliminated from the postseason. … Hillsboro lost to Boise but still clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Seahawks: Tonight is the final time this year the Hawks’ game won’t count. In the standings. But there are a few guys who will try to make it count towards making the team. Whether their play against the Raiders will really make a difference, however, is up to debate.

Mariners: The M’s former highly-thought-of-left-handed-pitching prospect, James Paxton, outdueled the current one, Justus Sheffield, last night as the Yankees defeated the Mariners again.


• There is one other reason we didn’t spend a lot of time writing this morning. The Internet at the house went down halfway through our usual morning foray around the web, which could have been fatal to this feature. However, we do have a backup plan thanks to an unlimited data plan, so we instituted Plan iPhone for the first time in months. It’s not as fast but it gets the job done. Until later …

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