August 30, 2012 |

Crunch Time for August 30, 2012

Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to check out our Cheney fall sports teams

By JOHN McCALLUM

Editor

It's doesn't seem possible, but summer is almost over. And you know what that means?

Yep, fall sports! Oh yes, school too.

OK, I know technically, summer lasts until Sept. 20, but really, the seasons revolve around sports so with football starting – and football is a fall sport, despite the arena leagues and those Canadians – that means it's fall.

For those of us here in the beautiful Inland Empire, the winding down of summer usually means getting in a few last days of outdoor recreation over Labor Day weekend. If you're planning on sticking around, and even if you are hitching up the boat, airing up the inner tubes and squeezing that last bit of suntan lotion out, you might think about heading to Cheney High School and Eastern Washington University to see some of the Blackhawks' teams swing into action as well.

The CHS girls' soccer team gets its season underway Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. by hosting Greater Spokane League 4A school Ferris in non-league action. Without tipping my hat – the Fall Sports Preview comes out Sept. 13 – head coach Robyn Smith's Lady Hawks should again be competitive in the Great Northern League, having a good nucleus of veterans returning from last year's 10-9 team.

Cheney High and Eastern will be the host sites this Friday and Saturday for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association's annual football Kickoff Classic and the Volleyball Invitational, presented by Farmer's Insurance.

This year the invitational, formerly called the Emerald City Volleyball Invitational, will also feature C and junior varsity squads from the competing schools on Friday at Cheney High. New Cheney head coach Brianne Lowe said she had a great turnout over the summer for camps and tournaments and sees some good potential not only for varsity but coming up the ranks.

The Lady Hawks JV team takes on Newport at 2 p.m. and Gonzaga Prep at 3 p.m. at the high school's Hatch Gym while the sub varsity/C squad faces Ferris at 3 p.m. and Moses Lake at 4 p.m. The C team takes on University at 2 p.m. in the Main Gym with the sub varsity playing the Titans at 7 p.m. in Hatch.

The Lady Hawks varsity team lost five seniors from last year's team that earned the GNL's No. 4 playoff seed, but returns a good nucleus of varsity experience, led by All-GNL second team Liz Gill. Cheney faces 1A Newport in the Main Gym Friday at 5 p.m., and then takes on Moses Lake of the 4A Columbia Basin/Big Nine at 7 p.m.

Finally, the CHS football team kicks off their season Saturday in the Kickoff Classic at Eastern's Roos Field. The Blackhawks have a mixture of experience and young talent that has head coach Jason Williams pretty excited, and are coming off a 7-3 record and playoff appearance that ended with a 36-35 overtime loss to Ellensburg.

Cheney faces East Valley-Yakima from the Central Washington Athletic Conference at 4 p.m. Saturday at Roos. The Red Raiders finished 6-4 last year, just missing the playoffs.

And if football is your gig, you might want to take in the other games as well: 1B Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia vs. 2B Reardan at 10 a.m., Colville, back up to 2A and Cheney's opponent Oct. 26 on the Red Turf at Roos, vs. 1A Freeman at 1 p.m. and GSL powers Central Valley and Ferris, both 4A playoff teams in 2011, in the nightcap at 7 p.m.

Yep, summer is almost over, and fall is in the air and on the fields in Cheney this weekend.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

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