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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Week 1 football preview: LC, Ridgeline start league play right off the bat

Football players set up during a drill at Ridgeline High School in Liberty Lake on Aug. 24. The Falcons play host to Lewis and Clark Friday night.  (Libby Kamrowski/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Due to the expansion and realignment of the Greater Spokane League, each of the nine 4A/3A teams will face one other once during the regular season, leaving each team with one nonleague opponent. That means league play starts for 4A/3A teams on opening night Friday.

There are seven 2A football schools, with North Central playing down for football only, so each of those teams have up to three nonleague games.

Game of the week

(Washington records from spring 2021)

Lewis and Clark (2-5) at Ridgeline (0-0): Friday 7 p.m. Ridgeline coach Dave Myers is eager to see his young squad in action against a live opponent. Ridgeline will be led by sophomores Nico Pena and Kole LeGrant, an inside-outside tandem at running back. LC has six starters back on defense and will try to grind it out on offense with the tough-nosed RB tandem of Matt Heer and Gentz Hillburn.


Gonzaga Prep (5-0) at University (0-5): Friday 7 p.m. The Bullpups are figured to be among the top-ranked 4A teams in the state . They’ll be led by three-year starting QB Ryan McKenna and a stout defense – one of the best in the state. U-Hi WR/S Ricco Longo is an impact player both ways.

Central Valley (5-2) at Eastmont (4-1): Friday 7 p.m. CV has 45 letter winners back, including strong-armed QB Luke Abshire. His younger brother, Zac, will join him in the backfield this season.

Mt. Spokane (5-1) at Cheney (2-3): Friday 7 p.m. 3A Mt. Spokane returns almost all of its skill positions, including QB Kellen Flanigan, RB Tyler Alm and WR Jordan Sands. Cheney flipped last year’s starting QB, Josh Whiteley, to receiver while junior Jakeb Vallence will take snaps.

Mead (4-3) vs. Ferris (2-5): Friday 7 p.m. at Union Stadium. Both teams are breaking in a new head coach. Keith Stamps moves up from Deer Park to take over for Mead, while Malik Roberson was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach for the Saxons.


West Valley (6-0) vs. Newport (1-3): Friday 7 p.m. West Valley’s success this season will start in the trenches, where three all-league players return, including seniors Connor Rowett and Jacob Geiger.

Shadle Park (5-0) vs. Timberlake (0-1): Friday 7 p.m. Shadle Park is breaking in new QBs so it will lean on RB/LB Tryson Town and WR/DB Liam Johnston.

Rogers (0-6) vs. Colville (2-2): Friday 7 p.m. Senior RB/LB Caber Taylor and junior WR/DB Gabe Skinner will be leaders for Rogers.

East Valley (3-3) vs. Deer Park (3-3): Friday 7 p.m. East Valley turns to sophomore Diezel Wilkinson at QB after leading the GSL in receiving last season.

North Central (1-6) at Freeman (2-4): Saturday 1 p.m. The newly renamed Wolfpack of NC returns QB Carter Strom, an all-league pick last season, for his senior season.

Clarkston (2-5) vs. Moscow (4-2): Friday 7 p.m. Clarkston graduated 18 starters, so coach Bryce Bye will rotate “four varsity-level backs we feel good about.”

Pullman (4-2) vs. Zillah (2-2): Friday 7 p.m. Senior Riley Pettitt takes over at QB for Pullman.


Coeur d’Alene (0-1) at Sandpoint (1-0): Friday 7 p.m. Vikings were handled by Lehi (Utah) 33-6 last week while Sandpoint cruised 35-7 against Post Falls.

Post Falls (0-1) at Rigby (1-0): Friday 7 p.m. The Trojans have a tough matchup on the road against a state semifinalist from last season.