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Kahlotus stays in Lind-Ritzville combine

KAHLOTUS — Local high school student-athletes will continue to participate in the Lind-Ritzville/Sprague athletic combine.

Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Athletic director Greg Whitmore announced last week the decision to remain this week.

The School District was considering other options, including joining a combine with Connell High School.

The Journal first reported on this issue when Kahlotus appeared on a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association list in January as a Class 1B school, instead as a part of the 2B combine.

Superintendent Greg Taylor said Feb. 9 that no decision had been made. Kahlotus appeared separately because it had not yet committed to the combine. Whitmore said he thought that district was right to really look things over.

“They are a long way away, so they spend a lot of money on transportation costs,” Whitmore said. “Their kids spend a lot of hours on the bus and that can be hard.”

The Kahlotus school is 40.5 miles from Lind-Ritzville High School and only 18 miles from Connell High School.

In the past, joining Connell was not an option. When schools form a combine, their enrollment numbers are combined to determine classification.

Connell is a Class 1A school that was right on the threshold of being a 2A school. If Kahlotus’ enrollment was added to their own, they would have to play in the higher league.

This year, the method of determining classifications has changed to include free and reduced lunch consideration and Connell is no longer so close to the cutoff. So, the district offered to allow Kahlotus to join.

“They were right to look into that,” Whitmore said. “They owed it to their taxpayers and kids to consider it.

“But we are happy to have them here.”

Whitmore noted that Kahlotus’ commitment to remain in the combine is only for one year. He expects the district to consider this choice yearly.

“There will be no hard feelings if they do decide this is too much for them,” Whitmore said.


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