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The Front Row with Jason Elliott, November 6, 2010

| November 6, 2010 9:00 PM

Three schools, deep in tradition with their respective athletic programs.

One will look to add to its history today; the other two may likely want to forget the 2010 start as soon as possible.

OVER THE course of the past three weeks, Kellogg lost its final two home games by a total of 130 points, dressing only 18 players for a senior night game.

I've heard of injuries depleting a team, but to go from 50 players to just shy of a full team within two months is crazy.

As the Mullan Tigers took the football field to start this season, everything looked promising with the return of a couple three-year starters.

That was until they were hit with an injury bug, losing their starting quarterback, a lineman and wide receiver all in the span of three weeks.

If it wasn't hard enough for the Tigers to compete with the smallest school in the state, having only eight players for most of the season likely made things even worse for the coaching staff.

Meanwhile, the Wallace Miners open the 1A Division I playoffs later today, taking on the Prairie Pirates, who knocked the Miners out of the playoffs last year on a snowy day in Moscow.

For Wallace, it's a seventh straight playoff appearance, with one coming in at the 2A level in 2004.

WHAT KIND of surprises me about the situation is that the Kellogg program, which usually have 40 to 50 players in the program, couldn't get enough healthy to have a full practice by the end of the season.

Injuries happen, but to lose 32 players within a span of six weeks and having to cancel at least two JV games, it seems a problem is brewing.

As student numbers have dropped, Kellogg has cut "C" team programs in basketball and volleyball, after attempting to bring back "C" team boys basketball a few years ago.

A few varsity teams that were to be cut (cross country, softball) later went on to appear in their respective state tournaments. Meanwhile Kellogg's girls soccer team made it to a state 3A play-in match for the second time in four years.

Not bad for a group that had to spend most of the summer wondering if they were going to have a chance to play this fall.

Some of those components from the Kellogg soccer team and the cross country team were made because of a co-op agreement between the three schools in those sports.

Another victim of those cuts, the Kellogg wrestling team, received word it was going to have a team toward the end of August. The downside - the annual George Wild Invitational, which brings in 15-20 teams to Andrews Gymnasium - will not be held this year.

At some point, likely soon, those schools will have to entertain the idea of joining forces in some sports just to remain competitive.

These days, it seems the only competition between the three schools is from those fans wanting to keep them apart.

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

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