Issues cause 1B league dissolution

mwochnick@theolympian.comJanuary 9, 2013 

The Coastal League is no more.

As of Jan. 1, all six of the schools in the 1B league – Mary M. Knight, Oakville, Lake Quinault, Wishkah Valley, North River and Taholah – went independent for at least the remainder of the school year.

The league’s athletic directors voted 4-1 in their Dec. 22 meeting to dissolve the league. According to documents obtained by The Olympian, there were issues with Taholah – which is located approximately 45 miles north of Aberdeen – involving sportsmanship, compliance and eligibility and safety.

An unanimous decision was made to ban all of Taholah’s sports teams from postseason for the 2013 fall season, too.

“There’s been issues with the school (Taholah) for a few years, and they just blew up this fall and winter,” said John Schultz, Mary M. Knight’s principal and athletic director.

“There’s been meetings with superintendents and athletic directors, athletic directors meetings that have tried to resole issues and problems, but there has been no resolution yet.”

Schultz added no decision has been made on whether a new 1B league will be formed – with or without Taholah – starting in the 2013-14 school year.

“We hope so,” he said.

In addition, Taholah’s track and field team will lose all points scored from last May’s District IV and 1B state meet at Eastern Washington University.

“The majority of member schools felt that by going independent, it would better empower those schools to ensure the safety of their respective community members and student/athletes,” Keith Samplawski, the league’s former president and Lake Quinault’s principal and athletic director, said in a statement.

The District IV executive board, headed by Rich Frazier, will be responsible for deciding playoff berths in all sports, including boys and girls basketball.

In response to the disbandment of the Coastal League, Mary M. Knight and Oakville will keep their remaining games on the boys and girls basketball schedules, with the exception of playing Taholah. Both schools canceled their boys and girls basketball games against the Chitwins.

The MMK girls basketball team (8-1 overall) was in first place when the league disbanded. The boys team is 5-5 overall. The Owls defeated Oakville, 47-21 (girls) and 59-36 (boys), on Friday. All six schools offer only boys and girls basketball as a winter sport.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473

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