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Originally published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

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2014 prep football preview: SPSL 4A Northeast

It’s a new-look SPSL 4A with Decatur moving back up, while Auburn and Auburn Riverside dropped to 3A.


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THE DIFFERENCE-MAKERS

Josiah Bronson

TE/DL, 6-6, 265, Sr., Kentwood

Last in a line of talented Bronson siblings, he has bloomed into something special.

Jared Goldwire

OL/DL, 6-8, 300, Sr., Kentwood

Size alone makes this transfer command attention, and his athletic play should, too.

Amandre Williams

QB/DL, 6-3, 218, Jr., Tahoma

A strong summer has Williams rising among defensive recruits, and yes, he plays QB, too.

Kingston Suka

OL/DL, 6-1, 292, Sr., Tahoma

Third-year starter uses his strength and outstanding footwork to full advantage.

Braiden Beckman

RB/LB, 6-2, 215, Sr., Kentridge

Aggressive playmaker seeks to make every tackle and has all-state potential.

Brian Brown

QB/DB, 6-0, 200, Jr., Kentridge

One of the Chargers’ fastest players, he’s pegged as a two-way starter.

Danstan Kaunda

RB, 5-11, 210, Sr., Kentlake

Tough, physical athlete goes 100 percent and never takes a play off.

Micah Vaifale

RB/LB, 5-9, 230, So., Kentlake

Has all the athleticism of his older brothers and cousins and even better instincts.

Emmanuel Daigbe

WR/LB, 6-1, 175, Jr., Kent-Meridian

Chiseled athlete (state runner-up in wrestling as a soph) will be a handful.

Vinigno Malietufa

RB/LB, 5-8, 220, Sr., Kent-Meridian

“Swiss Army Knife” does a little bit of everything for athletic Royals.

THE STORY LINES

New-look SPSL 4A

It’s a new-look SPSL 4A with Decatur moving back up, while Auburn and Auburn Riverside dropped to 3A. Keeping all four Federal Way School District schools in one division meant major revamping. For most sports, there are 10 members in the North and seven in the South. For football, though, the league decided to split the North into a pair of five-team divisions. The top two teams in the Northeast and Northwest will advance to the preliminary round of the playoffs (crossing over in Week 9 for seeding purposes) and the third-place teams square off in Week 9 for a fifth and final berth.

Will Conquerors conquer again?

Kentwood won or shared three of the past four North Division titles, splitting last year’s crown with Auburn Riverside after going unbeaten in 2010 and 2012 (Kentlake won in 2011). The Conquerors are clear favorites again.

Kent-Meridian could end long playoff drought

K-M hasn’t qualified for the state playoffs since 1992, but has a solid chance to at least make the preliminary round this season for only the first time since 1995. The Royals lost a play-in (SPSL crossover) game to Puyallup in 2012.

THE CAN’T-MISS GAMES

Sept. 26: Kent-Meridian vs. Kentlake, 7 p.m., French Field (Kent)

• According to the coaches’ poll, these two could play for that coveted No. 3 berth.

Oct. 3: Kentwood vs. Tahoma, 7 p.m., Maxwell Field (Tahoma)

• This is often a game that decides the division title, and could be again.

Oct. 9: Federal Way vs. Kentwood, 7 p.m., French Field (Kent)

• Sure, it’s a cross-division game, but could be between two ranked teams.

COACHES POLL

Predicted order of finish in the SPSL 4A Northeast Division, based on a survey of league coaches, with 10 points for first-place vote, nine for second, etc. (first-place votes in parentheses). Coaches not allowed to vote for their own teams and voted within their own division only.

School, 2013, Points (1st-place votes)

1. Kentwood, 7-3, 40 (4)

2. Tahoma, 6-4, 34 (1)

3. Kent-Meridian, 3-7, 33

3. Kentlake, 3-7, 33

5. Kentridge, 2-8, 30

Sandy Ringer



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