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The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT April 17, 2009

| April 17, 2010 9:00 PM

What a strange couple of months this has been for some of the athletic programs in the area.

If you're living in the Silver Valley, it's getting even stranger as some of those programs will be performing their swan songs at Kellogg High School.

Most of them, without the chance to say good-bye.

LOOKING BACK at the last seven years of my life, it's easy to say that I spent a good part of my Saturday afternoons during the spring chasing down Kellogg baseball and softball games - trying to be in two places at once.

During that time, I also spent a good portion of fall afternoons running around the Pinehurst Golf Course, where the Kellogg cross country team held its annual meet each year.

It's also worth mentioning that I can count the hours at Andrews Gymnasium during the KWAL George Wild wrestling tournament, held in honor of the former district bus driver who had a fatal heart attack on the way to the St. Maries wrestling tournament.

I can also recall the Saturday morning I woke up and drove to Post Falls to take pictures of the Kellogg soccer team in a state play-in game in only its second year as a program.

Due to the failure of a recent levy in the Kellogg School District, all these programs have competed in their final events in an effort to keep the schools running.

These programs, along with cheerleading, will be cut, as will cross country and wrestling at the middle school level. Volleyball, football, basketball, golf and track and field will be the only sports still offered within the district.

Should the next proposed levy not go through on April 27, the Kellogg district could reduce more sports, or just eliminate them all together.

FOR YEARS, I've wondered just what could happen if the three schools in the Silver Valley merged in various high school sports.

In place was a co-op in cross country and soccer between the three schools, but with Kellogg dropping these sports, it's over.

To keep some of these sports going in the Kellogg area, they'll most likely have to turn to a pay-to-play, much like they had to before baseball and softball were adopted as sports a few years ago.

It's either that or join forces with the Wallace team for those sports and create a Silver Valley superpower of sorts in baseball.

BEFORE, I never imagined a situation where the Kellogg-Wallace football game wasn't going to be played, but after it was delayed and eventually canceled due to lightening - they haven't played it since at the varsity level.

When they did play each other, fans flocked to Teeters Field in Kellogg or Sather Field in Silverton, depending on who was hosting the game that year and it usually resulted in the largest game of the year as far as attendance went.

But with Wallace dropping to the 1A North Star League (Kellogg is 3A), this game hasn't been possible for over three years.

Hopefully they find the field together again, not just on the football field, but other sports of competition.

If not against each other, then possibly together.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d'Alene Press. He can be reached via telephone at 664-8176, ext. 2020 or via e-mail at jelliott@cdapress.com.

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