In case you haven’t heard, there’s a high school football game of some significance being played at Qwest Field in Seattle Friday night. After winning its fourth consecutive Washington State 3-A championship last December — in a season in which it also snapped Concord De La Salle’s 151-game winning streak — –the Bellevue High football program was looking to expand its horizons even further. “We were looking to schedule another game (against a non-Washington school),” Butch Goncharoff, the head coach at the school located in the Seattle suburb said Monday afternoon, just before his team took the field for practice. “And everyone in the world said we should go after Long Beach Poly, that they were going to be the best team in California.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Some eight months after discussions about a Poly-Bellevue matchup began, the game will take place Friday night at 8 o’clock, in the home of the Seattle Seahawks and in front of Fox Sports Network cameras. “Now,” he added, laughing, “after watching film (of the Jackrabbits), I absolutely believe what they told me (about Poly). I’m a little star struck.” When Goncharoff called Raul Lara winter and suggested the game, the Poly High coach — –not one to duck any challenge — –gave it a conditional thumbs up. And Bellevue, through the effort of its football booster club, took care of that condition. The airfare and hotel accommodations for the Jackrabbits — –the traveling party of players, coaches and support personnel will total 70 — –are being covered by the booster club, as is the cost to rent Qwest Field. “We told them we would do it,” Poly co-Principal Shawn Ashley said Monday morning, “but that it couldn’t come at any cost to our student body. We played a game a few years ago in Hawaii under those conditions. And we’ve been contacted by the Ohio Athletic Association to play a team from Cleveland in Cincinnati two years from now, and it will be the same thing.” One thing is certain, this will strictly be a football “business’ trip for the Jackrabbits and their coaches. The traveling party is scheduled to fly out of Long Beach Airport early Friday morning and fly out of Seattle at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon. So the Poly players will miss just one day of classes. The only “sights’ the Jackrabbits will be seeing in Seattle are the ones they can catch through bus windows, at their downtown hotel and inside Qwest Field Friday night. “If we say we prioritize education,” Ashley said, “then we have to do things to match that (statement).” FOOTBALL STUFF: Butch Goncharoff and his staff are doing the best they can to make sure they have their players’ sole attentions, football wise, this week. Practices will be closed to visitors, included the media. According to those who follow that sort of thing very closely — –including college recruiters — –the Wolverines have the best offensive line prospect in the West in 6-foot-5, 295-pound Stephen Schilling, who is expected to sign with Washington, USC, California or Michigan in February. The Jackrabbits scored pretty much at will in their 49-27 season-opening win over Corona Centennial Friday night at Veterans Stadium. And Raul Lara didn’t appear nearly as upset with his defense’s performance (it allowed nearly 400 yards) as was his coordinator on that side of the line of scrimmage, Jeff Turley, afterward. “I was a little disappointed that we gave up 27 points,” Lara said afterward, “but we will fix that. It’s just the first week of the season. We still have a long way to go but everyone else does, too.” He smiled. “But, “he quickly added, “we don’t care about everyone else.” Lara doled out plenty of praise to an offensive line that returned just one full-time starter (Matthias Duran) from last season. “We had a couple of question marks there,” he said. “But two guys who were on the junior varsity last year (Andrew Dunkley and Samuel Thoman) blocked very well.” USC Coach Pete Carroll and his offensive and recruiting coordinator/receivers coach, Lane Kiffin, were on the Veterans Stadium sidelines (and in back of the end zones) for nearly all of Friday night’s game. One could imagine that they were paying close attention to Poly receivers Terrence Austin and Travon Patterson. But they also couldn’t help but be impressed by a litany of players from both teams, including Centennial’s junior running back, Tracy Johnson (29 carries for 168 yards). After Mission Viejo had run up 49 points in the first half of its first two games, first halves, it’s not hard to picture the Diablos going unbeaten and winning a CIF Southern Section Div. II title for the second year in a row. The question is, can anyone can hold them to less than 50 points this season? The Lakewood Lancers did a pretty good job, during their 27-22 win against Servite, of demonstrating that — –until someone demonstrates otherwise — –they still have dibs on the “the second best team in the Moore League’ claim. BASKETBALL HAPPENINGS: CIF Southern Section Commissioner James Staunton said Monday morning that his office “has been in contact with (ABC) school district’ regarding the ABC Unified School District’s investigation of the Artesia High basketball program. No one, including Coach and Athletic Director Scott Pera, at the school or at the school district will speak about the investigation while it is on-going, an ABC spokesperson told the Press-Telegram last week. Staunton would not address any of the apparent allegations (or suspicions) of possible rules violations by those within or connected with the Pioneers’ program. “We’ve had conversations with Gary Smuts (the superintendent of the school district, who, according to Staunton, is heading the district’s investigation) and they are moving quickly,” Staunton said. “But there is no timetable. They will be as thorough as possible. And then we will advise them (the ABC investigators) as to possible (CIF) rules violations.” Smuts was involved in the district’s investigation of the Pioneers’ program five years ago that led to the eventual departure of Wayne Merino as its coach. Quincy Pondexter, a 6-7 forward at San Joaquin Memorial High in Fresno and the son (of Roscoe Pondexter) and nephew (of Clifton Pondexter) of former Long Beach State standouts, will sign with the University of Washington in November, a source very close to the player’s recruiting said Monday. Pondexter was expected to tell Huskies’ Coach Lorenzo Romar of his decision when Romar visited the family’s home in Fresno Monday night. Pondexter, a standout this past summer on the EBO/EA Sports Fresno-based traveling team, also visited Connecticut. He will be among the leading vote getters on the Press-Telegram’s 2005-06 Best in the West team, which will be published in early November. Dominguez High guard Patrick Christopher visited the University of Texas over the weekend but returned early enough Sunday to play in the Top Seniors game during the Fullcourt Press/Pangos Fall Class Showcase at Ocean View later Sunday night. The 6-4 Christopher said coaches from Cal (Sept. 20), Kentucky (Sept. 21) and Texas (Sept. 23) are set to visit his home later this month, and that USC is among the other schools whose coaches have offered him scholarships. Each of the six games played Sunday at Ocean View was entertaining, with a multitude of college prospects, spread across the classes, on display. Sophomore point guard Brandon Jennings of Dominguez, playing in the game for juniors, was easily the most impressive performer of the day. Anything I can write about him now falls into the realm of the repetitive. Some of the freshmen who played well included twins David and Travis Wear (Mater Dei), Aaron Moore (Dominguez, who hit the winning bucket in his game), Chris Cunningham (Diamond Ranch in Diamond Bar), Dominick LaCoste (Poly) and Sam Ferguson (Mayfair). Among the better sophomores were Troy Gillwater (6-7, 225 — –wow!) of Fremont, Demar Derozan (Compton), Jerime Anderson (Canyon of Anaheim; a very good point guard prospect) and Nick Sanchez (Wilson; another solid point guard). Impressive juniors included Jesse Woodard (Centennial), James Harden (Artesia), Jamelle Horne (San Diego High), Quinton Watkins (Dominguez) and Darnell Gant (Crenshaw). The Fullcourt Press/Pangos Fall Classic, featuring traveling teams and not individuals, gets under way Friday at 4 p.m. at the Southern California Basketball Academy in Cypress and wraps up with a title game set to start at 3:30 on Sunday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!