The games begin tonight. At 7 p.m., six football games will kick off, and with them, so will the ’08-’09 high-school year. There’s even a couple of blockbusters: with Bothell facing Issaquah at Pop Keeney, and Auburn and Federal Way getting right down to business in the SPSL North.
There’s so much to look forward to this season, and here are just a few things I can’t wait to see:
-Could this be the year someone ends the Mead dynasty in 4A volleyball? Kentwood just might have the team to do it.
-A pair of junior soccer players, Beamer’s Holland Crook and Bellevue’s Kate Bennett, who already looked like seniors a year ago.
-The KingCo 4A in football. So many interesting subplots: Does anything change at Skyline with long-time coach Steve Gervais at the UW? For Bothell, is reloading as simple as it always seems? Is this the year Issaquah breaks through (we might get that answer tonight)? And Woodinville, Inglemoor, Eastlake and Redmond are all possible league champions. This league is expected to get six playoff spots — out of 12 teams! — and one of those teams will be shut out of the picture. And remember: Ballard made the playoffs just last year, too. (They’ll get four playoff spots next year, so just imagine that).
-If Eastlake’s cross-country, as deep a team if they get in the state, can break through with a state championship.
-And if this is the year one of Redmond’s two long-distance stars — Sarah Lord and Devin McMahahon — win in Pasco.
-What records Skyline swimmer Andie Taylor will break this fall.
-And how Ballard’s Annemarie Thayer follows up a state-champion freshman year.
-How O’Dea football moves on without state player of the year Johri Fogerson (the answer most likely is: behind another humongous line).
-If anyone can break through Bellevue in the KingCo 3A, where no remaining team has beaten the Wolverines since 2000 (and the Wolverines beat those teams by an average of 30-plus last season).
-If Edmonds-Woodway can win the WesCo South again, with two-thirds of its big three gone (but the most significant third, Tony Heard, back). And how Oak Harbor lives on without longtime coach Dave Ward (now at Archbishop Murphy).
Speaking of the Wilcats — who open with a huge game against Lynden — let’s hope this is one season without pain, without loss, and without any wild decisions to knock a team out of the postseason.
Starting tomorrow, the blog returns to its full form, with daily stars from the night before and the top games to go see that night. So come back and join the discussion. The season is here.