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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016