Emerald City Kickoff Classic Match-Up Preview

Each year, the Emerald City Kickoff Classic signifies the start of prep football in the state of Washington, bringing several of the state's top high school teams to Qwest Field for an all-day spectacle of football. In preparation for the games, ESP will give you a sneak peek into each matchup. The 3 p.m game features a plenty of talent on both sidelines, as Lakes takes on Gig Harbor.

Game 3: Gig Harbor vs. Lakes at 3:00 p.m.

Last Season:

Gig Harbor Tides- 6-5 overall (3-1 league) in the Narrows-Bridge League (4A)

Lakes Lancers- 9-2 overall (5-1 in league) in the Western Cascade League (3A)

Outlook:

Lakes boasts one of the most talented squads in the state this year, with three players boasting multiple scholarship offers. Tight end/defensive end Kavario Middleton, Scout.com's #1 ranked defensive end in the country, has all the tools to dominate the competition whenever he touches the field, earning offers from big time college programs including Michigan, Miami and Washington. Middleton will team up with newcomer quarterback Calvin Schmidtke and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse to form what should be a formidable air attack. Running back Dominick Davis should shoulder the carries for the Lancers, have rushed for over a thousand yards last year. The key to the offense could be Schmidtke's acclimation to his new team, having transferred from Life Christian to play his senior season. The defense should be stout, with plenty of returning players, and Middleton coming off the edge to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. Overall, Coach Dave Miller has the necessary weapons to make a run at a 3A state title in 2007.

Gig Harbor has earned a reputation over the last few years as one of the most consistent programs in the state. The tides have won their division four out of the last six years, and have been loaded with talent for some time. Coach Darren McKay has sent players to player at Division I-AA programs or above four out of the last five years, and should continue that trend this year, with offensive linemen Matt Bernard holding an offer from UNLV. The trenches seem to be Gig Harbor's strength this year, with Bernard, Brendan Saltvick, and Tyler Hopkins anchoring lines that may be one of the biggest in the state, with each being at least 6-2 and pushing three hundred pounds. If Coach McKay can get production from the skill positions, Gig Harbor could take home its third straight division title this fall.

Prediction: While Gig Harbor could give Lakes some trouble on both sides of the line, there is too much talent on this Lakes team to see them losing the opener. Lancers down the Tides, 28-14.

Make sure to check back on Saturday, as EvergreenStatePreps.com will be bringing you a live blog from Qwest Field, covering the final three games of the day.


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