Ron Adams has been forecasting a breakthrough the past five years.
The founder of the Spokane Stars girls basketball program who launched the Jack Blair Memorial Washington/Idaho All-Star game 15 years ago has been predicting that the Region team would beat the Metro.
We’re still waiting. The 16th annual game will be played June 1 at Lake City High School at 7:30 p.m.
“This is their best chance, no question about it,” Adams said. “This is the most talent ever on the Region team.”
Adams announced the players selected to the teams this week. Named to the Metro team are: seniors Morgan Manchester of East Valley, Jeneva Anderson, Sarah Kliewer and Emily Travis of Lewis and Clark, Lindsay Niemeier and Bianca Pope of Shadle Park, and Tifa Puletasi of Mead; juniors Zoe Scott and Chenise Pakootas of University, and Jazmine Redmon of Mead; sophomore Tia Presley of Gonzaga Prep; and freshman Brooke Gallaway of Central Valley.
Named to the Region team are: seniors Katie Baker of Lake City, Kama Griffitts, Amy Warbrick and Sadie Simon of Coeur d’Alene, Jordan Schoening of Post Falls, and Camille Reynolds of Lakeland; juniors Dayna Drager of CdA and Katelyn Loper of Post Falls; and sophomores Carli Rosenthal of CdA, Jordan Loera of Moses Lake, Shelby Cheslek of Pullman and Shaniqua Nilles of West Valley.
Jim Redmon of Lewis and Clark will coach the Metro and Dale Poffenroth of CdA will coach the Region. Between them they’ve coached eight state title teams.
The Region team includes three starters off Adams’ Stars elite Blue team – Rosenthal, Loera and Loper – and two backups (Nilles and Cheslek). Two Metro players, Pakootas and Gallaway, are reserves on the Blue team.
Adams said the game features the most combined talent in the series history. He estimates as many as 18 of the 22 players are either signed to play NCAA Division I or II or will do so by the time they graduate from high school.
It was good news last week when the Coeur d’Alene School District override levy – like the other levies floated in North Idaho this spring – passed, and did so overwhelmingly.
Coaches at both the city high schools were asked to help get the levy passed. In exchange for their assistance, they were told athletic budgets would be maintained at current levels.
So it was troubling to learn that the morning after voters passed the CdA levy with 74 percent affirmation, both high schools were told that their individual budgets must be slashed 50 percent.
Both high schools had roughly $250,000 budgets this year with about $75,000 earmarked for activities. Divide those budgets in half and do the calculations. It means that budgets for activities will be about $37,500 next year.
So where do the athletic directors at both schools come up with another $37,500? As one coach told me, coaches at the schools are being asked to be professional fundraisers.
Both schools have combined to do a major fundraiser each year for the last decade. Parker Toyota has donated a vehicle and student/athletes at both schools sell $10 raffle tickets for the vehicle. That fundraiser combined with the ‘Cruise for Kids’ auction has raised roughly $100,000 each year – about $50,000 for both schools that helped offset other deficiencies.
Now the programs at both schools will have to find ways to bridge bigger shortfalls. To ask a community that stepped up and overwhelmingly passed an override levy to cough up more money – especially during these difficult times – is borderline criminal in my perspective.
The 10th annual District I Meet of Champions is this afternoon at Post Falls High School.
The top athletes from all classifications will gather to decide who is best in the five most northern counties. Field events begin at 2 with running events at 3. Medals are awarded to the top three finishers.