Emerald City Kickoff Classic Preview

Budda Baker

A look at the four games of the Emerald City Kickoff Classic from Husky Stadium in Seattle this Saturday...

After a two-year run in the eastern part of the state, the Emerald City Kickoff Classic returns to Western Washington and will make be played in the newly-renovated Husky Stadium, the first high school games to be held in the hallowed venue.

The ECKC features three state champions from a year ago, Skyline, who won the WIAA 4A state title, Bellevue, who won the WIAA 3A state championship and Lynden, winners of the WIAA 2A state crown.  It also features Idaho's 5A runner-up Coeur d'Alene.

The final game, between Bellevue and Skyline, will be televised on ROOT Sports and can be heard on 950 KJR.

Fox Sports takes a look at the weekend's games.

Seattle Prep vs. Seattle Roosevelt at 10:00 a.m.

Seattle Prep was hit hard by graduation but brings back some talent in the secondary behind cornerback Kevin Kocher and safety Jack Henning. Both will also play receiver for Prep. 

Roosevelt surprised many a year ago in their run to a 4A state playoff berth. 

The two Seattle schools will meet in the first-ever high school football game in Husky Stadium, game one of the Emerald City Kickoff Classic.

Seattle King's vs. Lynden at 1:00 p.m.

King's lost Billy Green to graduation (he's now at BYU) so they'll turn over the reins to a rising sophomore, Koa Wilkins, a strong-armed passer who will try to maintain the success the Knights had under Green.

Chris Yand figures to carry the load for the Knights and Zach Jacobson anchors the offensive and defensive line.

Lynden rolled to the 2A state title last year, but four of their top players are now at D-I programs.

Senior 6-4, 180-pound receiver Jalani Phelps is Lynden's top returner.

Coeur d'Alene vs. Bothell at 4:00 p.m.

Coeur d'Alene comes across the state borders from Idaho as the lone out-of-state team in the ECKC. 

And while they're from Idaho, they have two players that will be spending their future in Seattle in tight end Chase Blakley and offensive tackle Matt James, both commits to Washington, and who will get their chance to play in Husky Stadium a year early. 

Quarterback Gunnar Amos leads CDA's offense and junior Drew Berger plays both running back and linebacker. 

Bothell is led by 2015 quarterback Ross Bowers, who has some ties to Washington himself,

Sammamish Skyline vs. Bellevue at 7:00 p.m. live on KJR- tape delayed on ROOT Sports at 9:30 p.m.

The game that everyone in Washington wanted a year ago comes in the opener in 2013. 

Bellevue won the 3A state title at 14-0 last fall while Skyline won the 4A state title with an identical 14-0 record. 

Their stars from a year ago are gone (the state's offensive and defensive players of the year in fact, quarterback Max Browne and linebacker Myles Jack for Skyline and Bellevue respectively), but both teams return talent. 

Skyline will feature Kilton Anderson,who moved to Washington from Florida, at quarterback, where he'll fill the shoes of Max Browne. Defensively, 2015 linebacker Cameron Saffle leads the Spartans. 

Bellevue, on the other hand, returns several elite prospects, including the arguably the top player in the state in Budda Baker, who'll play safety, running back and receiver for the Wolverines. 

The Wolverines also feature a pair of star defensive linemen in Marcus Griffin (Washington State) and Shane Bowman (Oregon State). 

Offensively, Tim Haehl, who's headed to Harvard, starts at quarterback and will play behind an offensive line that includes 2014 lineman Morgan Richey, and 2015 tackle Henry Roberts.

-Emerald City Kickoff Classic Preview-

Brandon is in his ninth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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