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

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2014 prep football preview: SPSL 3A

Some coaches consider the SPSL the toughest 3A league in the state, and there’s good reason for that argument. The league includes three teams that won or shared division titles at various levels in 2013.


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THE DIFFERENCE-MAKERS

Benning Potoa’e

TE/DE, 6-4, 255, Sr., Lakes

One of state’s top prospects plays with passion and has all the intangibles.

Kiyrie Simons

OL/DL, 6-0, 290, Sr., Lakes

Best O-lineman on a loaded team expected to make a deep playoff run.

Robert Kvinsland

QB, 6-4, 195, Sr., Peninsula

Had best TD-to-INT ratio in league last year (15-3) and is much improved.

Cody Kanouse

OL, 6-7, 293, Soph., Peninsula

Has a Pac-12 frame with exceptional motor and footwork to go with it.

Demetreus Taua

OL/DE, 5-10, 255, Jr., Auburn

One of very few sophomores to start both ways in a storied Auburn program.

Gresch Jensen

QB/DB, 6-1, 195, Jr., Auburn Mountainview

Threw for nearly 2,400 yards with 24 TDs in 2013.

Gavin Hettinger

WR/DB, 5-11, 175, Sr., Auburn Riverside

Great route-runner averaged nearly 18 yards per catch as a junior.

Triston Wedington

WR, 6-1, 185, Sr., Sumner

Top receiver for 2A champs last year with 41 catches and 13 TDs.

Ethan McElderry

RB/DB, 5-10, 175, Sr., Bonney Lake

League’s top returning rusher approached 1,000 yards last season.

Connor Pierce

RB/DB, 5-10, 180, Jr., Enumclaw

Lockdown DB can be electrifying with the football in his hands.

THE STORY LINES

Toughest 3A league in the state?

Some coaches consider this the toughest 3A league in the state, and there’s good reason for that argument as it includes three teams that won or shared division titles at various levels in 2013 — Auburn Riverside (co-champs in SPSL 4A North), Peninsula (SPSL 3A) and Sumner (SPSL 2A).

Trending ... perfect league records

With as much parity expected in the league this season, especially in the top half, it seems unlikely that the champion will go through conference play unscathed. But that would be breaking a trend as every SPSL 3A champ since the league’s inception has gone unbeaten — beginning with Auburn in 2006.

Tacoma Dome run?

For a while, winning the SPSL 3A title bode well for a run to the Tacoma Dome. The first five league champs all reached the state semifinals (Auburn, Franklin Pierce, then Lakes, Lakes and Lakes). But no team has made it past the quarterfinals since — thanks largely to Bellevue, which has beaten the past three SPSL champions in that round.

THE CANT-MISS GAMES

Sept. 19: Peninsula vs. Auburn, 7 p.m., Auburn Memorial Stadium

• Trojans get to test themselves early against defending league champs.

Sept. 25: Lakes vs. Peninsula, 7 p.m., Roy Anderson Field (Gig Harbor)

• Seahawks have won past two league titles and Lancers want it back.

Oct. 9: Sumner v. Auburn, 7 p.m., Auburn Memorial Stadium

• Spartans eager to prove they can play with the big boys.

COACHES POLL

Predicted order of finish in SPSL 3A, 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.

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

1. Peninsula, 8-4, 69 (6)

2. Lakes, 4-7, 64 (2)

3. Auburn, 6-4*, 58

4. (tie) Auburn Mountainview, 3-7, 47

4. (tie) Sumner, 11-1**, 47

6. Auburn Riverside, 7-3*, 41

7. Bonney Lake, 7-4, 34

8. Enumclaw, 5-5, 32

*Played in SPSL 4A North Division

**Played in SPSL 2A

Sandy Ringer



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