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The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT November 24, 2010

| November 24, 2010 8:00 PM

It was bound to happen at some point this season, but early season postponements around the area on Tuesday afternoon signaled one thing - this winter could be a long one.

After getting a fairly low amount of snow last winter, it appears Mother Nature will be making up for lost time throughout the rest of the month.

WITHIN THE past three days, reports of ice and snow throughout the area have already slowed the start of basketball season, with Tuesday's 5A Inland Empire League girls basketball game between Post Falls and Lake City getting postponed.

Last season, one game between Post Falls and Lewiston was postponed due to slick roads.

Just a hunch, but I don't think that will be the case this season.

Cold weather, slick roads and the probability of more snow than we'll know what to do with makes me think that those area athletic directors will be working overtime really soon.

Besides an area matchup being postponed, it was also going to be the Trojans' second of six 5A Inland Empire League games. Playing that many games within league before the Thanksgiving break, while necessary to competitive games, makes it difficult if you're not playing at your best early in the season.

When the game does get rescheduled, the game will likely mean more for the Region 1 tournament seeding than playing Tuesday.

THE SCHEDULE for most teams this season is already tough enough without the help of games being shaken up already.

With the Coeur d'Alene boys basketball team traveling to Seattle for three games, then turning around a week later and competing in a tournament at North Idaho College, playing catchup late may not be something that will faze the Vikings.

Playing catchup early will be another story - with three starters joining the team after winning a state 5A football championship on Friday.

Hopefully, this winter's season will not compare to a treacherous season two years ago.

While at the George Wild wrestling tournament in Kellogg, the weather had yet to become a factor in mid-January.

When championship matches concluded, the snow pelted the area like I'd never seen before.

In the following weeks, basketball and wrestling halted - instead being replaced by more postponements and eventual cancellations of some season-ending games.

It got so bad, the girls 1A District tournament was moved from Timberlake High to Kellogg to determine bids to the state tournament.

When the snow finally stopped, which ended up being toward the final weeks of the spring sports season, the schedules were filled with more TBA, TBD's or PPD's than results.

Through it all, one thing remains consistent.

As the winter goes, so goes the sports schedule in North Idaho.

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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