Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Jamboree complete, Colfax loads bus for Wahkiakum


August 30, 2018 | View PDF

--Tom Mohr photo

Colfax head coach Mike Morgan addresses the Bulldogs before the Ritzville jamboree Aug. 24. The team's first game is at Wahkiakum Saturday at 1 p.m.

After 40 snaps at the six-team Ritzville jamboree last Friday, Aug. 24, the Colfax High School football team will board a bus at 6 a.m. Thursday, today, for a trip to Wahkiakum, in southwest Washington. In the first year of a home-and-home, four team east-west exchange, Colfax will play the Mules on Saturday at 1 p.m., after Liberty and Napavine play at 10 a.m.

Arriving Thursday afternoon, each team will hold a practice, followed by a barbecue with the four teams and coaches.

"It's gonna be a great cultural exchange," said Colfax head coach Mike Morgan.

The game originated with an opening in schedules for non-league matchups, and coordination between the longtime coaches. Next year Napavine and Wahkiakum will travel east to Liberty as they host the exchange.


In Ritzville last Friday, Colfax drew 10-play matchups (offense or defense) with Northwest Christian, Chewelah, Medical Lake and Northwest Christian again. They did not meet Lind/Ritzville/Sprague or Davenport, which also participated.

"After eight practices, you're tired of hitting your own guys," said Morgan, in his 21st year as Colfax coach. "We were 1-0 against the J.V."

Going into the first in-uniform action for his team, Morgan and his staff pulled much information.

"You have no idea what you'll see going in (to the jamboree)," he said. "What's that defense? It looks like a 3-5 to me. For us, some things looked great and some not very good at all."

One area stood out in particular as the coach watched from the sidelines and later on film.

"We're not going fast enough. We think we are," he said.

More information also came in on the quarterbacks, with both junior Gunnar Aune and sophomore Layne Gingerich leading the offense for jamboree series.

"It's still too close to call," said Morgan, who plans to try out both players in the Bulldogs' four non-league games to start the season.

At Wahkiakum, the coach indicated one will start and play the first quarter, then the other the second quarter and rotate.

Who will be that first name in the slot?

"It will be a Thursday, Friday decision for me," Morgan said.

Perhaps time on the bus for the six and half-hour ride through the Columbia Gorge, stopping for lunch at the Dalles will play into it.

More questions for Colfax are at running back, for which the Bulldogs will rotate five or six players.

"To see who rises to the top, see who's gonna carry the mail for us," Morgan said.


The Mules of the Central 2B League run a wing-T offense and blitzing 3-4 defense under coach Erik Hansen, whom Morgan has long been acquainted.

"He's a meat and potatoes type of guy," Morgan said. "They're big and strong. That's the thing that probably concerns me most."

Wahkiukum returns a core group of players from last year's 6-4 finish. Colfax went 7-4.

The Bulldogs will return to Colfax Saturday evening.

"What a way to spend Labor Day," Morgan said.

Colfax will play at Freeman Sept. 7 for their second game.


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