The Front Row with MARK NELKE Oct. 4, 2012 - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

The Front Row with MARK NELKE Oct. 4, 2012

That air we've been breathing

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:00 am

Either the smoky air from all the wildfires in the region is starting to clear up — or worse, we’re just getting used to it.

Several events in the Lewiston and Moscow areas were postponed or canceled in recent weeks. The only game in our area that was affected was a football game between Lakeside and Lapwai — which was moved from Lapwai to Plummer because of the poor air quality in Lapwai, only to be canceled altogether when the air in Plummer wasn’t suitable enough to play in either.

It’s gotten to the point where you judge the air quality on a particular day by how well you can see Canfield Mountain — if at all.

“Looks like we’re playing in downtown L.A.,” someone at Trojan Stadium said just before Post Falls was to take on East Valley in football a couple of weeks ago.

You would think the smoky air would bother cross country teams. But Post Falls coach Brian Trefry said it hasn’t affected his runners at all.

Soccer is another sport which requires quite a bit of running, and Coeur d’Alene High girls soccer coach Tarragh Carr said it has affected her strategy.

“We’re trying to make a point of subbing quite a bit,” she said last week. “We’re sacrificing consistency, but you don’t want anybody sucking in air. We’re being overly protected.”

Coeur d’Alene’s girls played last Tuesday at Lewiston, where the air quality has been worse during these wildfires. Carr said up until around noon, athletic directors from the two schools were talking about who had the better air quality that day — Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene or even Moscow — as they mulled whether to move the game.

But the game remained where it was scheduled.

“Lewiston’s air was better than Coeur d’Alene’s today,” Carr said.

• Caelyn Orlandi has been bugging her Coeur d’Alene High soccer coaches for the better part of four years to let her play in goal.

For the better part of four years, the Viking coaches said no.

Until a couple of weeks ago, when Coeur d’Alene had built a comfortable lead en route to a 6-0 victory over Lakeland in Rathdrum.

Orlandi scored a goal 56 minutes and 10 seconds into the game, came out briefly, then returned and played the final 10-15 minutes in goal.

She also recorded two saves.

“She was a senior, we were winning quite handily, and we wanted her to have a senior moment,” Carr explained.

• Returning Idaho’s state high school softball tournaments to double-elimination was made official at last week’s Idaho High School Activities Association board meeting in Coeur d’Alene.

State softball tourneys were trimmed to single-elimination with a consolation bracket the last two years, mostly to save money and time.

The tourney was sliced from three days to two.

Amazingly, they found a way to schedule the upcoming double-elimination tournament into a two-day window as well.

Friday’s games are scheduled for 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be games at 10 a.m. and noon, with the championship game at 2 p.m. The if-necessary game would follow.

Lake City wouldn’t have minded that double-elimination format last year, while Coeur d’Alene thought it worked out just fine.

Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via email at mnelke@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter at CdAPressSports.

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