The South Sound Spotlight has released its coverage of early season high school football games for the upcoming 2015/16 season. It promises to be a competitive season and the Spotlight will shine on a number of teams in a number of locales.
The Spotlight covers the top high school football games played in the stadiums of the South Puget Sound. Many of these games involve top-ranked teams in Washington State from the Narrows League and South Puget Sound League (SPSL), with occasional coverage of teams from Kingco, Greater St. Helens League, and Greater Spokane. The South Sound Spotlight includes both 3A and 4A conference affiliations.
In the last four years, the South Sound Spotlight has followed the championship game and deep state tournament runs of teams from Lincoln High School, Bellarmine Prep, and Peninsula High. Perennially strong teams from Lakes, Gig Harbor, and Wilson have drawn the eye of the Spotlight as they attempt to resurrect old glory and turn it into present and future greatness.
Late season coverage depends on the success of teams from the power conferences, as well as surprise efforts from teams not highly ranked in the early season. The Spotlight is light on its feet and willing to chase down Cinderella. The early season schedule looks like this:
September 4: Peninsula at Gig Harbor, 7 p.m. Wow! There is nothing quite like opening the season with a cross-town rivalry game played between two power teams. Gig Harbor, 4A out of the Narrows League, made the 2014 WIAA state tournament but was beaten 27-21 in the first round by eventual semifinalist Graham-Kapowsin. Peninsula, 3A out of the SPSL, advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing 31-7 to eventual runner-up, and perennial power, Bellevue. Gig Harbor is ranked third in Washington 4A preseason lists. Peninsula is 6th ranked in state 3A preseason polling. This game matches the two highest ranked teams competing against each other in Washington State Opening Night.
September 11: Gonzaga Prep at Bellarmine, 7 p.m. The blue-clad Lions of Bellarmine Prep and 4A Narrows League affiliation will have their hands full Sept. 11 when they host the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups from the Greater Spokane League. Both teams had similar endings in 2014. The Lions advanced to the second round of the state tourney before losing 37-14 to eventual state champs Bothell. The same weekend GP fell 38-3 to eventual runner-up Chiawana. Preseason rankings favor Gonzaga Prep in the 8th spot while Bellarmine Prep lurks at Number 18. Gonzaga Prep will be favored, but the loud Lion crowd will be behind their favorites.
September 18: Franklin Pierce at Lakes, 7 p.m. The 2A Franklin Pierce Cardinals step up in class Sept. 18 when they travel to Lakes to take on the 3A Lancers. But that is just fine with the Cardinals. Lakes is several years removed from its position as a statewide power and is looking for a better 2015. Neither team made the playoffs after the 2014 regular season. The Lancers reside at the tail end of the Top 25 rankings. Franklin Pierce is unranked to begin the season.
It has been a long, hot summer. The South Sound Spotlight says, “Let’s play some football.”