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Originally published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

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2014 prep football preview: SPSL 2A

Sumner ran away with last year’s title, marking the first time a team went unbeaten in SPSL 2A play since the league was formed in 2010. But the field looks more wide open this season.


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THE DIFFERENCE-MAKERS

Brian Thomas

RB/DB, 5-10, 185, Sr., Steilacoom

Weight-room work paid off with 40+ TDs the past two seasons.

Fotu Leiato II

WR/LB, 6-0, 190, Sr., Steilacoom

His high motor and instincts have Big Sky schools calling.

Dakota Smith

OL/DL, 6-3, 278, Sr., Franklin Pierce

Third-year starter moves exceptionally well with great feet.

Eddie Prong

QB, 6-1, 175, Sr., Orting

Led the league in all passing categories as a junior.

Isaiah Bird

DL, 6-2, 300, Sr., River Ridge

Impressive blend of strength and quickness in a big body.

Kody Martinez

QB, 5-9, 175, Sr., Washington

Versatile player tabbed league’s Athlete of the Year in 2013.

Cyruss Stensen

RB/LB, 5-11, 210, Sr., White River

Returning all-league LB anchors a tough defense.

Tristan Knaus

RB, 5-8, 220, Sr., White River

Physical, “bowling ball” runner ready for a breakout season.

Austin Woods

RB/DB, 5-10, 160, Sr., Fife

Speedy guy gets his hands on the ball in a variety of ways.

Ray Quan Chavis

WR/DB, 6-3, 190, Jr., Clover Park

With 4.5 speed, Chavis sets the pace for young Warriors.

THE STORY LINES

Back to the (tight) races

Sumner ran away with last year’s title, marking the first time a team went unbeaten in SPSL 2A play since the league was formed in 2010. But the field looks more wide open this season, so expect a tight race.

Comings and goings

The league says goodbye to Sumner this fall as the Spartans climb to 3A, and hello to River Ridge of Lacey, which moves in from the tough 2A Evergreen Conference (anchored by Tumwater).

Worst to first?

A young Washington team finished 0-7 in league play last season. The last team that went 0-7, White River in 2010, responded by going 6-1 the following season and sharing the SPSL title with Franklin Pierce. The Patriots should be much improved and although they wound up fifth in the coaches’ poll, they did draw one first-place vote (and coaches can’t vote for their own team).

THE CAN’T-MISS GAMES

Sept. 19: River Ridge vs. Franklin Pierce, 7 p.m., Franklin Pierce

• Good early gauge to see how Hawks stack up in new league.

Oct. 17: Franklin Pierce vs. Steilacoom, 7 p.m., Steilacoom

• Coaches poll would indicate this as a title game.

Oct. 24: Steilacoom vs. White River, 7 p.m., White River

• Hornets still have some sting left from last season.

COACHES POLL

Predicted order of finish in the South Puget Sound League 2A, 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. Steilacoom, 4-6, 65 (4)

2. Franklin Pierce, 6-4, 60 (2)

3. White River, 8-4, 54 (1)

4. River Ridge, 4-5*, 52

5. Washington, 1-9, 46 (1)

6. Fife, 6-4, 44

7. Orting, 7-4, 43

8. Clover Park, 3-7, 25

*Played in 2A Evergreen Conference

Sandy Ringer



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