To the point week of 3/8/07

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THIS YEAR’S BOYS SECTIONAL is now over, and although the Switzerland County Pacers lost in the opening round on Tuesday night, there was still two nights of basketball that had to be covered.

It’s always fun to host tournaments when your team is playing, but for volunteers working Sectional #44 here, it meant watching games on Friday and Saturday nights that they had little interest in.

That could have meant a bunch of people deciding that they had better things to do and then going and doing them – but instead people understood that they had made a commitment to helping Switzerland County High School put on a first class tournament.

And that’s exactly what happened.

It’s not easy to host a sectional, with five other high schools coming in here at different times on different days. You’ve got to coordinate practice times; decide which fans sit in what sections; who can park where; hospitality rooms; cheerleaders; locker rooms; and all the rest.

Athletic director Kent Dunning had to find people to work the concession stands; hold the ropes to keep people off of the floor; take tickets; park cars; and all the rest; and he also had to worry about everything from weather to a faulty electric transformer that threatened to turn the lights off on Saturday night.

He and other school officials overcame a slick floor on Tuesday night by making sure that everything was adjusted on Friday night. There was no way to foresee the slick floor situation, as warmer outside temperatures and an overflow crowd on Tuesday night combined for moisture collecting on the playing surface.

The situation didn’t favor one team over another, and every effort was made to fix the problem as the tournament continued.

Through it all, dozens of volunteers worked to make sure that Switzerland County put its best foot forward. David Attaway and his coworkers at the Visitors Center were also present every night of the tourney, providing out of town fans with restaurant options and other information about the community.

Since class sports was adopted by the Indiana High School Athletic Association 10 years ago, once schools are assigned to sectionals, the schools get together and decide where each of the sectionals is going to be held.

This year, Switzerland County was privileged to host the boys basketball sectional; and will also host the baseball sectional this spring. There is also talk that the school may also host the softball sectional, because of lighting situations at Lawrenceburg.

If that happens, Switzerland County would have hosted three of the five class sectionals that we participate in – volleyball and girls basketball being the others.

That’s quite a feather in the cap of not only our school, but also our community.

This is a realignment year for the IHSAA, meaning that the organization will look at enrollment figures for schools, realign the classes, and reassign schools into sectionals again.

Once that happens, those schools will get together and again decide which schools will host which sectionals. After the success of the sectionals that have been hosted here in the past (volleyball, girls basketball, and softball), one would think that this is a prime school for multiple hostings in the coming years.

And a big part of that are people that we often times overlook – those volunteers who held the rope or popped the popcorn or took the tickets and made this most recent sectional a rousing success.

From staff members to community members to parents and students, this year’s boys basketball sectional didn’t turn out the way we would have liked on the court, but it was a huge success off of the court.

And that will pay dividends for the school and the community in the future.