No track means no elementary school meet again
April 22, 2005
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
Former local cross country and track coach Anthony Davis has ended his attempt at resurrecting the elementary school track and field meet.
The former Lake Tahoe Community College cross country coach became fed up with reviving the event for fourth- and fifth-graders when an Whittell High School administrator informed him that he would be unable to hold the meet on the Warriors’ track and field.
“I find it hard to swallow that a school district would turn down an event that hosts elementary school students and is free of charge,” Anthony Davis said.
“I’ve got so many other things going on in my life and I’m tired of fighting the schools. I don’t understand … is it a personal thing or what?”
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Whittell Athletic Director Joey Davis said that the school doesn’t want to hold an event at the facility prior to the school’s graduation in the middle of June.
“Because of the weather we’ve had and we have graduation coming up, we didn’t want to use the field and get it torn up,” Joey Davis said.
The school’s reason for turning down the meet did little to appease Anthony Davis’ frustration.
“That is the most ridiculous reason to shut down a facility for a community in mourning over athletics,” Anthony Davis said.
The school has said “no” to a soccer event at the facility as well.
The first-year Whittell Athletic Director said he was taken aback when Anthony Davis informed him that he wouldn’t pay a facility fee for the meet, which would include Zephyr Cove Elementary School, Bijou, Tahoe Valley and Sierra House.
“The school normally charges for facility use unless it directly involves a Nevada lake school. I’m not paying for a meet that I do for free and includes kids from Zephyr Cove Elementary School.”
Anthony Davis was an assistant coach for the Whittell track and field and cross country programs from 1998-2000 but was relieved of his duties without an explanation prior to the 2000-2001 school year.
Anthony Davis had originally tried to schedule the meet in June at South Tahoe Middle School but was informed by Lake Tahoe Unified School District that the track was no longer safe for any kind of meets.
The elementary school meet hasn’t been held the past two years because of the track closing at South Tahoe Middle School two years ago and the instability of the elementary schools last year. But Anthony Davis was determined to return the meet, which was well-received in the four years it existed.
“You’re not going to get them enthused about track and field,” said Anthony Davis, who plans to teach a track and field class for children July 11-22 at Lake Tahoe Community College. “I’m not going to put on this meet any more. I’ll continue to be a starter for middle school and high school meets in Nevada and California.”
Joey Davis said there is a possibility the meet could be held at Whittell next year.
“I don’t want to tell him to give up on it … maybe next year,” Joey Davis said.
Anthony Davis announced plans to revive the meet back in November. The South Tahoe National Little League even left an open day in their busy schedule on June 7 so ballplayers could compete in the track meet.
Zephyr Cove Elementary School reportedly is the only grade school planing to hold a meet this spring. The meet is set for May 24.
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