Eastern Washington University, ranked No. 1 in the preseason FCS poll, opens the college football season Saturday when the Eagles play host to Sam Houston State.
The game will be televised at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.
And a few Mid-Columbians should see some playing time for Eastern.
Chiawana grad Miquiyah Zamora is expected to start for the Eagles at linebacker, while Hanford grad Aaron Neary should start on the offensive line.
Eastern Oregon’s football team also begins the season today with a game at Menlo in California.
Former Waitsburg-Prescott star Zach Bartlow enters this week as the Mountaineers’ projected starter at quarterback.
A number of area athlets are on the two-deep chart for the Mountaineers.
They include: Kyle Hall, a redshirt freshman from River View, as a backup guard; Ki-Be grad and sophomore Dalton Morgan as a backup left defensive end; Hermiston senior Luis Ortiz at backup wide receiver; sophomore Logan Reardon — out of Walla Walla — at backup left tackle; and junior Kris Welch, from River View, as a backup middle linebacker.
Chris Dixon led the Sioux Falls Storm to another Indoor Football League championship last month.
Then the quarterback retired from active playing.
Now he’s going to coach, becoming the head coach for the expansion Billings Wolves, who begin play in 2015 to give the league its 10th franchise.
The Bemidji Axemen made a coaching change after their first season. Robert Fuller, a two-time IFL coach of the year at Fairbanks and then Green Bay, was let go by Axemen management after a 5-9 record for the first-year franchise.
The team then hired Dixie Wooten.
Jack Mehn is the new athletic director at Walla Walla High School, replacing Don Wilkins. ... Our annual high school football section is set to come out Sept. 5, the day of the majority of openers. ... The highlight of the openers will feature Chiawana at Camas in a rematch of last year’s 4A state championship game, won by the Riverhawks. Other Mid-Columbia Conference openers on Sept. 5 will feature Davis at Pasco; Hermiston at Hanford; Richland at Gonzaga Prep; Ellensburg at Kennewick; and Southridge at Moses Lake. All kickoffs are at 7 p.m. ... Kamiakin opens its season on Saturday, Sept. 6, at home at 5 p.m. against Ferndale.
Chiawana’s Dre Dorton and Chris Penny were both named to Ron Siegel’s first-team preseason all-state football team for seniors — Dorton as a multi-purpose player on offense, and Penny as a defensive lineman.
Richland’s Will Fisher was named to the second team as an offensive lineman.Siegel also named an all-junior team, and Richland’s Lakota Wells was listed as a multi-purpose player on offense.
Sunnyside’s John Dalrymple and his son Michael performed well recently at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent. John finished among the top six in the Super Gas division. Michael made the final six in Super Comp, eliminating his dad in the second round. ... Pasco’s Matt Driscoll finished first at Pacific Raceway in Kent back in May in a Nostalgia Alcohol Funny Car event. Driscoll had a 6.619-second elapsed time at 213.20 mph to beat Kim Parker’s 6.799 at 203.65 mph.