THE FRONT ROW WITH JASON ELLIOTT: A wait, but it could be well worth it

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It’s easy to get excited for the fall sports season to begin.

Friday nights, there’s nothing like some of the matchups you find under the lights in this area.

But what about those games in the middle of the day on the soccer field?

IN THE past few years, area soccer teams might have played a handful of games before school even started.

Not this year.

Due to a scheduling quirk, all fall sports that the Idaho High School Activities Association sanctions — football, volleyball, boys soccer, girls soccer, cross country and swimming — got started on Monday, with the first games of the season starting next Saturday in North Idaho.

If you’ve found yourself starving for a little high school soccer, Lake City will host a jamboree on Wednesday with boys and girls varsity teams from Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Post Falls meeting at the Irma Anderl Soccer Complex at Lake City High starting at 2 p.m. Teams start playing for real next Saturday around the area.

When it comes to play within the 5A Inland Empire League, Coeur d’Alene and Lake City’s boys will face off twice, at Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 21, with the teams meeting again Oct. 1 at Lake City. The school’s girls teams will face off the same days, with the sites reversed in both cases.

Post Falls is scheduled to host Coeur d’Alene in boys play on Sept. 17, with the teams at Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 28.

In case you missed it last fall, Lake City topped Coeur d’Alene 2-1 in the state 5A boys consolation championship game at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.

Lake City’s girls will try to build on a third-place finish in 5A last year at state.

IT HAS been incredible to see the run the Coeur d’Alene Charter girls soccer team has been on since its inception in 2012.

Coeur d’Alene Charter has qualified for state in six of its seven seasons as a program, winning state 3A titles in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

That 2014 title came against an equally-as-good Timberlake team that has also qualified for state the last five seasons. The Tigers were second in 2014, third in 2015 and fourth in 2016.

Timberlake’s boys program, which started in 2014, qualified for state for the first time last year, and Coeur d’Alene Charter will begin its inaugural season as a boys program at Orofino on Aug. 30.

According to the school website, Coeur d’Alene Charter will play its home matches at The Fields at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, which features turf instead of a grass playing surface. In past seasons, Charter has played home matches at Community United Methodist Church, and most recently at North Idaho College.

If nothing else, playing on turf instead of grass in early October could be a good thing for both teams on the field that day.

The state 3A boys and girls soccer tournaments are scheduled to take place at The Fields in October 2020, with the 5A tournaments will be at Coeur d’Alene, Lake City and Post Falls high schools.

Sure, we might have to wait another year for that.

But this year won’t let anybody down.

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.

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