Two former cross country coaches with area ties – Bill Kemp and Ross Thomas – have been named to the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
Kemp, a Spokane native who graduated from North Central in 1964, spent 30 years as head coach at Riverside in Chattaroy. In that span, Kemp took 25 girls teams and 21 boys teams to state. The boys earned eight trophies and the girls 16. Two boys and two girls teams captured state championships.
Under Kemp, his teams earned 22 state academic awards.
Kemp is the first Riverside coach to be named to a Hall of Fame.
Thomas, a California native, founded the cross country program at St. George’s in 1982. Between 1990 and 2000, St. George’s qualified a combined 19 boys and girls teams to state. The result was four state titles. He also coached three girls basketball teams to state titles.
CBBN breaks up
The 15-team Columbia Basin Big Nine is splitting into two leagues.
After a month of on-again, off-again discussions, the seven Tri-Cities schools – Richland, Hanford, Chiawana, Pasco, Kamiakin, Kennewick and Southridge – along with Walla Walla decided to secede from the CBBN beginning in the fall.
In mid-December, the eight schools wanted to divide the present conference into two divisions – North and South. The District 5 and 6 schools – Davis, Eisenhower, Sunnyside, Eastmont, Wenatchee, and Moses Lake – said dividing the league into geographic divisions violated league bylaws because 75 percent approval was needed.
Representatives of all the schools got together last week in hopes of salvaging the league. But after two days of discussions, it was apparent that no compromise could be reached. The seven Tri-Cities schools and Walla Walla voted to leave the conference last Friday.
Now there are many unanswered questions that have far-reaching ramifications involving the Greater Spokane League as well as North Idaho schools seeking nonleague football and basketball games.
GSL secretary Herb Rotchford said Wednesday that he will meet with GSL athletic directors on Feb. 22 to discuss some of the issues. He said firm direction is needed by month’s end so fall sports schedules can be set.