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The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

September 29, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Midseason roundup: Metro League football

Team on the rise — Rainier Beach

For years, the Vikings winning the Sound Division was as certain as death, taxes and East Coast bias. Then for a couple years the team became mortal. Now Beach (4-0, 3-0) is the only undefeated team in the league and has outscored opponents 144-6. The Vikings face a tough test this weekend against 4A power Wenatchee, but they have already equaled last year’s win total.

Team on the decline — Eastside Catholic

I guess when you’re the defending league champ, there’s only one direction to go unless you repeat. And Coach Jason Gesser knew the team would have much to replace from last year’s senior-laden team. The Crusaders (2-2, 1-0) aren’t underachieving by any stretch and I expect to see them in the postseason, but truth is they aren’t as dominant as last year, when they didn’t lose their second game until the state quarterfinals.

Sleeper team — Seattle Prep

The Panthers (3-1, 1-0) have already equaled their win total in the division in the last five seasons. That’s right, Prep hasn’t won more than one division game since 2003, when it went 5-5, 3-2. With two weapons on the ground in dual-threat QB Nick Holt and RB Joey DeRitis, Prep could contend for a district playoff berth with a top-three finish in the division.

Best player — OL Ben Riva, Sr., O’Dea

Skill position players get all the love, but how about paying some attention to the guys that do the dirty work in the interior? I saw the 6-foot-6, 272-pound offensive lineman in action against West Seattle and he was dominant. Perhaps the most physically imposing player I’ve ever seen live, the Washington recruit is the anchor for Metro-favorite Irish (3-1, 1-0), particularly in the run game.

Breakout player — WR/DB Markeem Adams, Sr., West Seattle

Watching this speedster (placed 2nd in the 100 meters last year at state with a 10.89 time) at full speed is a special thing. In two games this season I’ve seen Adams make big plays as a receiver, running back, safety, return man and even as a quarterback running the aptly-named Wildcat. For West Seattle (3-1, 2-0), he has even kicked and punted. For my money, he’s the most dangerous playmaker in the league.

Upset to watch for — Chief Sealth over Nathan Hale, Oct. 2

The Seahawks (2-2, 2-1) went 0-fer last season, but enter this week’s game against the Raiders (1-3, 1-1) on the two-game winning streak. Senior quarterback Daniel Davis leads a fairly experienced Sealth team in pursuit of a third win of the season against Hale, a team that won the division and went to state two years ago.

Key game — West Seattle at Rainier Beach, Oct. 16

This game could very well settle the Sound Division participant in the Metro championship — and I expect it to. Both teams have clearly been the most impressive on their side of the league. Last year, the Wildcats just got past the Vikings 20-16 on a fourth-quarter touchdown by T.J. Lee.

Crystal ball predictions

I’ve never been very good as these, but here are some way-too-early predictions.

Metro championship: O’Dea beats West Seattle 26-14.

Metro 3rd/4th game: Rainier Beach beats Eastside Catholic 21-13.

Metro 5th/6th game: Seattle Prep beats Chief Sealth 28-10.

Be sure to check out our mid-season looks at the SPSL and Seamount (Wednesday), WesCo (Thursday) and KingCo (Friday).

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