It was probably more wishful thinking than anything else from opponents that Coeur d’Alene, after graduating a deep and talented group of seniors last year, would perhaps slip a notch or two in football this season.
OK, the Vikings aren’t quite playing at the level they were late last season, when they rolled through the regular season and playoffs before falling to Highland of Pocatello in the state 5A title game.
But they’re pretty close.
“We’re getting to know each other more each game; each game we come closer together,” said senior running back Shilo Morgan, one of the few returning players who saw a lot of playing time last year. “We’re still getting better each practice. We’re just getting better every day.
The Vikings (3-0) are still gaining lots of yards and putting up lots of points — an average of 34.7 points per game. And that total would be higher, except Coeur d’Alene committed eight turnovers in its first two games.
The Vikings were guilty of just one turnover last week, and the result was 47 points hung on Mead.
Coeur d’Alene has a new quarterback this year, and mostly new receivers and linemen, and mostly new starters on defense as well.
And several of them are emerging as standouts this year.
So watch out.
“I’ve heard that — ‘You guys aren’t going to be as good as last year,’” Morgan said. “I knew that we were going to be pretty good. That (talk) fuels us; we’ve got to prove ’em wrong.”
WE’RE NOT advocating betting, especially on high school sports.
However, if you were to put down a friendly wager (plate of bacon vs. plate of gizzards?) the next time Coeur d’Alene and Mead play football, take the “over” on the over/under.
Last week’s game — Coeur d’Alene 47, Mead 34 at Roos Field in Cheney — is the latest example.
Last year, at Coeur d’Alene, the Vikings beat Mead 62-43. The year before, at Albi Stadium in Spokane, Cd’A beat the Panthers 57-31.
That’s an average score of Coeur d’Alene 53.7, Mead 36 over the past three seasons.
The teams are scheduled to play again next season.
GENESIS PREP is hoping for good news soon in its appeal to have last year’s decision to ban F-1 (international) students from the postseason reversed.
Last September, at a meeting in Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho High School Activities Association Board of Control voted to ban F-1 students from the postseason, effective the 2018-19 school year.
Genesis Prep is one of a handful of schools statewide that takes F-1 students — who can play up to all four years in high school, as opposed to the traditional foreign exchange students, who are here for one year.
The Jaguars boys basketball team won the state 1A Division II title in 2017, then repeated this past March. The Jaguar girls were third at state in 2017 and second this past season. Both teams have F-1 students on their rosters.
Genesis Prep sent a letter of appeal to the IHSAA this summer, and the matter was discussed at the IHSAA meeting in August.
A group consisting of IHSAA staff and some school administrators was formed to investigate the matter, said Ty Jones, executive director of the IHSAA.
A decision could come as soon as the next board meeting, scheduled for Sept. 25 in the Pocatello area.
“All types of changes were discussed,” Jones said. “Our board wanted more information on the thoughts of schools. There may be some action at the September meeting if the board decides to move in that direction. Any changes that our board makes, after a final reading, would go into effect immediately unless otherwise indicated.”
Genesis Prep principal Chris Finch said he was “encouraged,” but declined further comment for now.
Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@CdAPressSports.