Team Spotlight: Mount Spokane Wildcats

At Mount Spokane Coach Bill Ayers has a squad depleted of its entire starting lineup. But the cupboard is not bare for the Wildcats and the Greater Spokane League is wide open this year.

"We have no returning starters," Ayers told us. "But these guys have had success at the lower levels." That gives Ayers call for optimism. He has always been a "glass is half full" kinda guy.

Ayers is expecting good things from 6-4 senior Mike Dorr, 6-7 senior Tom Cavenaugh, 6-3 senior Alex Cusick, 6-0 senior Jared Crabtree, 6-1 senior Garrett Swanson and 6-1 senior Tyler Roffler. Juniors include 6-5 Edwin Miller, 6-2 Cam Sower, 6-4 C.J. Barschig and 6-0 Dwight Bond.

"Our main strength is our over-all good team height," Ayers commented. "But we have no varsity experience to speak of."

"We will be inexperienced but look to be very competitive down the stretch. We have some work to do, but I think my young charges are up to the task. Every game in the GSL will be a battle. There are no real big stars like last season, but teams will be tough night-in-and-night-out."

Ayers adds that "I don't think there will be any undefeated teams in the GSL this next season. But basketball aficionados will have a great time watching what should prove to be one of the most competitive GSL leagues from top to bottom in quite awhile."

And how did the Wildcats do in the off-season? "Our summer was up and down: We had a lot of injuries and were without our two post men for the majority of the summer. Surprisingly, we were able to hang in there with some pretty good teams; our young men really battled."

As for how the GSL might shake out in 2004 Ayers told us, "the pre-season favorites should probably be Lewis & Clark, Gonzaga Prep, and Ferris. The league has such great parity that anyone could sneak in and be a surprise."

As for the battle for the state title, Ayers gave his perspective. "Based on what I was able to see this summer, the state 4A championship is up for grabs with lots of good teams and great coaches!"

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