The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT July 18, 2012

New places, same results should come

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When it comes to building a successful program, you've got to take a step back to move toward success in the future.

Whether it is finding a new home to play at, or just someone that's willing to play - a few teams in the Northwest might be a lot closer to finding out their future plans.

IN THE case of the Coeur d'Alene American Legion baseball team, an understanding was reached for the program to move from its current home at McEuen Field to Ramsey Park, possibly in time for the 2013 season.

Should that happen, it will be a little bittersweet.

The setting for the evening games will look a little different, with the lake no longer within a short walk following games. That walk will also increase a little from a short walk from the office to the field to having to jump in the car and drive a few miles.

But the location, near the Kroc Center, should provide some fans that haven't been able to head to the field a chance to get back to the diamond sooner than later.

If this season is the last for baseball at McEuen, and from every indication that officials have given the program, it could be - next week's class AA Area A (district) tournament should be well worth watching.

Three of the four teams participating in the tournament will advance to state Aug. 1-5 at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. Coeur d'Alene has qualified the last eight years, with Prairie joining the Lumbermen last year at state for the first time since 2003.

Since Lewis-Clark is hosting the tournament, the Twins are assured a spot, but it will be up to whoever is playing the best by next weekend to determine the other two. Trail, British Columbia, will be the fourth team at districts.

AND WHILE other teams like Syracuse and Pittsburgh are trying to bail on the Big East Conference, Boise State is still waiting to join the conference in football only for another year.

The Broncos will play this year in the Mountain West Conference, before becoming a Big East member in football on July 1, 2013. In all other sports, they’ll rejoin the Western Athletic Conference starting in 2013.

That is, if there’s much of a conference left.

The conference grew to 10 earlier this month, but will lose six to other conferences before BSU rejoins.

At some point, there’s got to be an end to the shuffling of conferences in college sports.

Starting next fall, all roads to a championship will end with a playoff, so playing in the toughest conferences may help get you into one of those spots — but it could also keep you out with too many losses.

PLAYING A tougher-than-normal schedule might help you learn a lot about how your team is going to handle certain situations.

But at the end of the day, they’ve still got to go out and do what has made them successful, and win games.

No matter where or who they are playing.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com.

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