Schedule woes: TCC still has work to do with basketball 2012.11.21

Written by David Green.

Think back a year ago when Morenci's new school basketball schedule was about to unfold. The changes that league members made were announced the previous spring and the dismay began then. We also remember that an editorial in this space took the attitude of "Let's give it a try." After all, there was at least one state in the union that routinely paired girls and boys varsity games for years. It was just was just normal scheduling for them, and perhaps the Tri-County Conference would adjust to the change, also.

When the actual schedule was released, it was obvious that this would be a hard sell to anyone. Even those who favored allowing girls to play the same night as the boys and to give them the opportunity to play the "main feature" second game were perplexed.

The schedule made no sense. There was no rhythm, no regularity. Occasionally the junior varsity and varsity of each gender paired up for a night together, but mostly the two varsity teams shared the evening—something that sorely disappointed coaches who wanted to watch the younger players without having to travel another night away from their families.

The value of the schedule wasn't just to tell a fan who the opponent would be, but to lay out which night of the week and when.

The new schedule was an obvious flop to players, coaches and fans alike, so this year league representatives made some changes. Is it more orderly? Yes. Is it still confusing? Yes. Is it still frustrating? Definitely. For example, this season the boys and girls play five nights on the same date, but in different locations. For example, the girls travel to Whiteford on the same night that the boys play Whiteford at home. There was a time when that arrangement was avoided at all costs, and now it's become a standard feature of the TCC schedule.

We can't imagine there will be much satisfaction with this year's schedule and we urge athletic directors to continue looking around at other leagues for ideas. The Buckeye Border Conference, for example, has an easy solution to sharing Friday nights by splitting the season in half. Perhaps there are other possibilities if that isn't acceptable.

Conversations such as this one always seem a little odd in years when exchange students are enrolled here. They're asked about differences between their home educational system and what they're now experiencing in the U.S. One response is guaranteed: "There's so much emphasis on athletics. Back home, sports aren't even part of school."

It's a good reminder for those who might see school as a vehicle for athletics. It's academics that lead the way, no matter what night of the week the gymnasium is in use.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017