Garfield-Palouse lacks enough players to field a football team this fall, so the Vikings are sending their gridiron athletes to the Pullman High team this season.
The news, first reported by Pullmanradio.com, was confirmed by Gar-Pal athletic director Scott Thompson and Pullman High football coach David Cofer on Friday.
“You could kind of see it looking at our roster (last season) — with seven or eight seniors and 16 kids out — that there might not be enough kids out (this fall) to have a squad,” Thompson said of Gar-Pal. “So in January, we started asking and couldn’t get more than eight or nine kids to turn out — and that just isn’t enough to have a program.”
Thompson emphasized how grateful he felt to Pullman High for “creating opportunities for kids who really wanted to play.”
Thompson said he’s not sure how many Gar-Pal students will play for Pullman next season, but Cofer noted that one Viking has already practiced with his squad for spring practices.
“We’re excited to welcome them into our program because we know how important high school football is,” Cofer said.
The addition of Garfield-Palouse athletes to Pullman’s roster will not affect the Greyhounds’ classification. The Greyhounds will still compete in the Great Northern League of the Washington Class 2A ranks.
Though it will include athletes from Gar-Pal, the team will still be known as Pullman High.
Thompson said Garfield-Palouse will reevaluate the football situation again next year and make a decision about the team on a year-to-year basis.
The Greyhounds have made State two years in a row, while Gar-Pal — playing eight-man football at the Washington Class 1B level — has done so in three of the past four years.