Kickoff Classic Saturday will feature Colville, Freeman

WIAA ‘Classic’ moves eastColville High will get its 2012 football season underway in a different fashion on Saturday.The Indians, who will move up to Class 2A this fall and return to the Great Northern League for the two-year WIAA reclassification cycle, will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Freeman in the so-called WIAA Kickoff Classic at Eastern Washington University. It’s the first time in memory that a CHS football game has started the season on a Saturday afternoon.The ongoing renovation of Husky Stadium in Seattle has resulted in the move of the former Emerald City Kickoff Classic to Eastern Washington’s Roos Field on Sept. 1.The reprised WIAA Kickoff Classic will feature four games on Saturday: In the opener at 10 a.m., 2B teams Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia will tangle with Reardan. Colville and Freeman will kickoff at 1 p.m.At 4 p.m., East Valley (Yakima) and Cheney of the GNL will play in a game featuring a pair of 2A schools. The 7 p.m. finale will feature Greater Spokane League 4A rivals Central Valley and Ferris.The Indians, who finished 5-5 last season in what can only be described as a building year, weren’t supposed to factor into the Northeast A League race. But after losing their first four games, the Indians jelled and finished atop the league standings.The Indians saw their season come to an end with a 38-35 loss to Royal in a State 1A quarterfinal game in the rain and snow at Colville last November. The Indians had opened the 1A playoffs with a win over Omak. The Indians, buoyed by what will certainly be one of the top offensive lines in the GNL, began practice sessions for the 2012 season on August 15.In Freeman, the Indians will oppose a team that was favored to win the NEA championship last fall. Colville, who finished 4-1 in NEA play last fall on the way to winning their second NEA title, upset the then fourth-ranked Scotties 28-27 in a Homecoming battle at home. Colville will open the home portion of their season on Friday, Sept. 7 against rival Chewelah (7 p.m.). Timberlake will visit in another non-league game on Sept. 14.Colville will open the GNL portion of their schedule Sept. 21 at West Valley.THE MOVEThe Emerald City Kickoff Classic had been played at CenturyLink Field (previously known as Qwest Field) since the event’s inception back in 2003. But CenturyLink is home to the Huskies this fall while their stadium is being renovated. The Huskies have a home game there against San Diego State on Sept. 1, the date of the Kickoff Classic.So for at least 2012, the event is being called the WIAA Kickoff Classic and will be played at Roos Field with its red turf. WIAA Assistant Executive Director, Andy Barnes, said it’s uncertain whether the Kickoff Classic will return to Seattle and CenturyLink in the future because it depends on the availability of the stadium.The Emerald City Volleyball Invitational has also been moved from Seattle this year to Cheney High School on Friday, August 31. A note: Tickets for the WIAA Kickoff Classic are carrying some hefty admission prices: Adults, $15, students with ASB, $10 and seniors (62 and up), $10. Children under age five will get in free.