The landscape in Intermountain League football - and statewide, for that matter - will go through a face lift in 1998 as several schools change divisions.
Although Moscow will leave the A-2 IML for the A-1 Inland Empire League, the A-2 conference will add three teams.
Grangeville and Orofino will join the IML for football only next year, expanding the conference to eight teams with the inclusion of Timberlake, the new high school in the Lakeland School District.
All IML schools will play a seven-game league schedule. As a result, league teams must drop two non-league opponents.
Grangeville and Orofino will be seeded into district tournaments for all other sports.
Addition of the two central Idaho schools means current IML teams will face an extra long road trip each fall. However, league officials believe that was the best way to determine the league’s two state playoff berths.
Lakeland, for example, had to drop games with Sandpoint and Lake City to accommodate league expansion. Lakeland will keep its annual season-opening “Battle of the Prairie” game against Post Falls and play a non-league game against Coeur d’Alene.
Timberlake’s non-league games will be against Lakeside, which moves from the A-4 North Star League to the A-3 division, and A-3 independent Wallace.
The first Lakeland-Timberlake game is set. The teams will meet the second week of the season in Timberlake’s home debut.
Moscow’s move to the IEL and Division II for football is offset by the loss of Lewiston to Division I. Lewiston will remain in the league for all other sports.
Lewiston won’t play all IEL teams because it must add four games against Boise-area Division I teams. Lewiston could drop as many as two IEL teams, but hopes to keep Post Falls and Sandpoint on its schedule.
Although the IEL’s number of Division II teams doesn’t change, the league will have two state playoff berths, instead of three, beginning next year.
That’s because the number of Division II teams in the Boise area will grow to nine. Emmett and Vallivue move from A-2 to Division II and Division I Boise drops to Division II when the school is split in two next year. Half of Boise’s present enrollment will attend Timberline.
The shifting of divisions among the Boise-area schools will force a realignment of Division I and Division II state playoff berths statewide. Complete details should be completed next month.
Cross country honors
Potlatch junior Greta Johnson, a two-time State A-3 champion, and Lake City junior Charlie Miller, who placed fourth at the State A-1 meet, were named runners of the year on the All-North Idaho Team as selected by area coaches.
Joining Johnson on the girls first team are Nicole Maloney of Sandpoint, who placed eighth at state; Nicolle Clutter of Post Falls; Libby Gerber of LC; Eva Unruh of Coeur d’Alene; Jenny Lieu of Moscow and Amy Larson of Orofino.
Teammates Mike Keith and Josh Johnson join Miller on the first team along with Josh Sherven and Jarred Ekstrom of Bonners Ferry, Jason Kunz of Post Falls and Desmond Hollopeter of Grangeville. Coaches based their selections on consistency, performances in large meets and placing at state. State-qualifying and state-meet results were weighted more heavily.
Sandpoint sophomore setter Jessica Lippi and freshman middle blocker Rochelle Ruen were selected to the A-1 State all-tournament team as picked by tourney coaches.
Lippi and Ruen led Sandpoint to the championship final, where the Bulldogs forced a second match before falling to Highland.
Joining the Bulldogs on the first team were senior outside hitters Erin Ricks and Joy Kugler of Highland, senior outside hitter Gina Albiston of Bonneville and senior outside hitter Megan Anderson of Boise.
Jessica Lippi’s cousin, Megan Lippi, a sophomore outside hitter at Sandpoint, and Lake City senior middle hitter Lindsay Herbert were named to the second team.
After a season-opening road sweep in Boise, Lake City (2-0) opens at home Friday against Intermountain League favorite Moscow, which will stay overnight and take on Coeur d’Alene (0-2) when the Vikings make their home debut on Saturday. In a season-opener for both teams Friday, Lakeland is at Post Falls.
Boys teams began practicing Monday. Most teams open their seasons the first week in December.
Wrestling teams begin practicing Dec. 1.
Sean Dorris has been named head boys and girls track coach at Coeur d’Alene High. He replaces Bryan Duncan, who resigned to pursue administrative credentials. A CdA High grad, Dorris is a first-year teacher at the school and served as an assistant football coach this fall.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: CARR RESIGNS As expected, St. Maries football coach Curt Carr announced his resignation last week. “I’ve got three boys and it’s time to spend some time with them,” said Carr, who will continue as vice principal and athletic director. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’m going to miss the rivalries, especially against (Lakeland coach Terry) Kiefer and (Moscow coach Eric) Bjorkman. What’s nice is we’re friends off the field.”