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If you need one play to illustrate how much TDN’s 2017 All-Area Football Player of the Year has improved as a passer, look no further than the second of his three touchdown passes in Rainier’s 36-20 win over Clatskanie on Friday.

Early in the second half, Tripp took a short dropback, saw David Katon with a step on a Tiger defender, and delivered a bullet to the slanting receiver. The score put the Columbians up 20-14, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Tripp finished with 299 offensive yards and five touchdowns, but it was that throw that should keep opposing coaches up at night. They already knew about his elusive legs and fiery demeanor. Add a rocket arm to that, and he’s near impossible to stop.

“I don’t know. I’d like to think he could make that throw last year,” Rainier coach Mike King said. “But this year, he’s decisive and has more arm strength.”

And to hammer home all the praise that’s been heaped on the senior quarterback the past few years, King concluded:

“It’s an honor to coach him.”

Peck leading Prairie

R.A. Long alumnus Mike Peck has quickly earned the respect of opposing coaches. The 2006 graduate of RAL took over Prairie this offseason. It was his first head coaching job after the past decade of being an assistant for Battle Ground, East Valley (Spokane) and Prairie.

“Mike’s a good coach and they do a good job,” Kelso coach Steve Amrine said after the Hilanders beat Prairie 34-18 on Friday. “You have to come to play.”

Peck, 31, now sits at 2-3 as a head coach. He led the Falcons to a pair of season-opening victories, a marked improvement for a team that went 5-13 over the past two seasons.

Helping him on defense is another face locals recognize, as former Woodland coach Mark Greenleaf presides as defensive coordinator.

WIAA implements video-exchange policy

Beginning this year, first-round matchups in the State Football Championships will be determined by the designated WIAA Playoff Seeding Committee. In an effort to appease coaches worried about acquiring game film the Sunday matchups are announced, the WIAA Executive Board has instituted a video-exchange policy between teams.

Under the new policy, coaches will be required to provide a copy of their team’s three most recent games to their opening-round opponent within 30 minutes of when the tournament brackets are released on Nov. 4.

For coaches who do not comply with the policy, WIAA staff will be notified and will work with athletic directors to fulfill the requirement. If the video hasn’t been received by 9 a.m. on Nov. 5, the violating coach will not be allowed to coach in the first-round game.

WIAA Executive Board Vice President Greg Whitmore noted the rule was suggested to coaches in early August when some suggested the RPI Playoff Seeding Committee would give teams less time to prepare for its first round opponents than in years past, when matchups could be projected weeks in advance, The Columbian reported.

The RPI Playoff Selection Committee will meet at 9 a.m. and plan to have the brackets seeded by noon and announced by 1 p.m., according to Whitmore, who is also the 14-year head coach at Lind-Ritzville.

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