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THE FRONT ROW WITH JASON ELLIOTT: Some steps in the right direction

| August 8, 2020 1:12 AM

It seems as though it has been in the making for a lot longer than a year and a half.

But the wait might soon be over for high school girls in the state of Idaho when it comes to having a bit of their own state-sanctioned tournament soon.

DURING WEDNESDAY’S annual board meeting, a measure passed as a first reading to add a girls bracket the state wrestling tournament starting with the 2021-22 school year.

“You’ve got to start somewhere, so having their own bracket, it’s a big deal for them to wrestle against other females,” Coeur d’Alene coach Jeff Moffat said. “We’ve been trying to grow the sport in the state of Idaho. It’s growing across the country, and you need to embrace it instead of fighting it. We know that it’s in the works and think there’s people that would rather see it sooner than later.”

The Rollie Lane Invitational at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, as well as the North Idaho Rumble at Coeur d’Alene High have added female brackets in recent years.

“Some of these other tournaments need to start doing all-girl, or girls brackets,” Moffat said. “The girls really don’t want to wrestle against the boys, but will wrestle other girls.”

Having separate tournaments could help bring out more athletes and add to the program as well.

“We had several girls come out for the team this year,” Moffat said. “But once they find out they’re wrestling boys, they’ll quit. By doing this, it will give them something of their own, and open the possibility of hiring a women’s coach and creating their own identity.”

Like many other programs, the coronavirus pandemic has put the wrestling program in a bit of a stalemate.

“We’ve had to shut down several times,” Moffat said. “Like many of the winter sports (basketball and wrestling), we’re shut down until Aug. 21. We haven’t had any summer camps, no USA Wrestling. Everything has been put on hold.”

As of now, the first wrestling practices will be Nov. 16.

“I think they’re still playing it by ear, but everything is still a go,” Moffat said. “If people wear their masks and do their jobs, we’ll have a season.”

THE NFL regular season is scheduled to kick off in a little over 30 days.

But does it really seem as if that’s going to happen?

A little closer to home, Coeur d’Alene already had its opener against East High of Anchorage, Alaska canceled after East was unable to travel due to having its practices pushed back to Aug. 20, one day before the scheduled kick against the Vikings.

While it might look a little different than in previous years, area teams are going to try to get back on the field again in a few weeks.

How long it will last is unknown.

It might not be safe, but they’re going to make it as close as they can.

No, it won’t look like it normally does, but at least they’re trying to take a step or two in the right direction.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JECdAPress.