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St. Maries teams get OK to start Monday

by MARK NELKE
Sports Editor | August 28, 2020 1:10 AM

St. Maries High fall sports teams can now start practicing on Monday, thanks to a decision by the St. Maries School Board on Wednesday night.

That means the St. Maries football team has one more game scheduled, giving the Lumberjacks five games instead of four.

On Aug. 10, the originally scheduled first day of fall sports practices, the school board voted to push back the start of fall practice to Sept. 10, but said it would review that decision later in the month.

That would have meant Lumberjack teams could not play their first games until Sept. 22. In the case of the football team, its first game would have been Sept. 25 at home vs. Timberlake.

With the new restart date, the Lumberjacks were able to add a Sept. 18 football game at Priest River — a game originally scheduled, then canceled by St. Maries when it was told it couldn't start until Sept. 10, as teams must have at least 10 days of practice prior to their first competition.

"I think there was a lot of looking around and seeing what was going on elsewhere in the region," St. Maries athletic director Todd Gilkey said of the board's decision Wednesday. "We only know of one kid in the region who might have had it (COVID-19)."

Meanwhile, Gilkey is working on trying to add games on the schedules of his other fall teams — some of which being games he had to cancel a couple of weeks ago.

Eight boys and eight girls soccer matches had to be canceled a couple weeks ago, but as of Wednesday afternoon, at least one boys and one girls game was back on the schedule.

"It's chaos, but at least we're getting to play," Gilkey said.