RB/DB, 5-10, 185, Sr., Steilacoom
Weight-room work paid off with 40+ TDs the past two seasons.
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WR/LB, 6-0, 190, Sr., Steilacoom
His high motor and instincts have Big Sky schools calling.
OL/DL, 6-3, 278, Sr., Franklin Pierce
Third-year starter moves exceptionally well with great feet.
QB, 6-1, 175, Sr., Orting
Led the league in all passing categories as a junior.
DL, 6-2, 300, Sr., River Ridge
Impressive blend of strength and quickness in a big body.
QB, 5-9, 175, Sr., Washington
Versatile player tabbed league’s Athlete of the Year in 2013.
RB/LB, 5-11, 210, Sr., White River
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RB, 5-8, 220, Sr., White River
Physical, “bowling ball” runner ready for a breakout season.
RB/DB, 5-10, 160, Sr., Fife
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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.
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