Taholah’s track postseason ban rescinded, but other appeals yet to be heard

Taholah’s track & field team will get its opportunity to compete in district and state meets this May, but the team and the school’s athletic department still wait on the school’s appeal of two other issues brought forward on Thursday.

Following Thursday morning’s District IV Executive Board meeting in Chehalis, district officials rescinded Taholah track & field team’s postseason ban for the 2013 season.

The postseason ban was one of three actions Taholah is appealing that came out of the Coastal League’s last meeting of existence on Dec. 21. The two actions — a one-year calendar postseason ban on the entire Taholah athletic department based on compliance/eligibility, sportsmanship and safety issues and the dissolution of the league — were not resolved on Thursday.

For the track & field team, the ban would have kept it out of the district and state meets this season. District IV director Rich Frazer noted that the actions taken by the Taholah School District — firing head track & field coach and former athletic director Shaun Straka — to resolve the situation was enough to satisfy the district in rescinding the ban.

The league used the Dec. 2 WIAA fact-finding report, which found that misleading information played a part in granting postseason eligibility for transfer athletes Justin and Keanu Curleybear during the 2012 season, for the basis of the ban.

Frazer noted that Taholah’s appeal on the one-year calendar postseason ban on the department was split into two violations.

“The district will handle the investigation of transfer eligibility in girls basketball, which was included in their appeal,” Frazer said. “The second item listed on sportsmanship and safety will be sent directly to the WIAA. That is the item that carries the one-year calendar postseason ban.”

Frazer noted that Taholah’s appeal of the league’s dissolution, decided upon on Dec. 21 and enacted on Jan. 1, will also go straight to the WIAA.

“The district feels the schools have that right and the state is the only one who can hear an appeal of it,” Frazer said.

The next WIAA Executive Board meeting is set for Jan. 27-28 at the WIAA offices in Renton.