Still in the hunt

Published 11:04 pm Friday, February 26, 2021

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Local basketball teams have wrapped up their district tournaments and a few local teams have managed to survive and move into regional play which kicked off this weekend.
On the girls’ side, the Cloudland Lady Highlanders finished out as the number two-seed after a tough loss on the road at North Greene and by the time this is read will hopefully have won and advanced to a Monday night contest in the second round.
Other girls teams that survived through the districts include the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones in Class AA as well as Hampton and Unaka in Class A action.
From the boy’s side, the Elizabethton Cyclones stayed alive in Class AA with Unaka and Hampton also making it through District 1-A play into the region fray.
Fingers are crossed that all the county schools will continue to play well and advance with an opportunity at a state tournament appearance on the line.

An innovative idea
This week while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post by Brenda Henry who is a parent to Hampton basketball players Parker Henry and Macy Henry.

In her post, Henry had such a good idea, I thought I would share it and see if it could possibly go somewhere in helping the athletic programs at the various schools throughout the county.

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During the basketball season, Henry and her husband have been going live on Facebook to allow those who were unable to come to the games to at least support the team by watching them play on Facebook.

I am aware of others throughout the county who did the same for fans from their respective schools to be able to enjoy watching their team play.

Henry said that she had been thinking about the financial loss that each school had endured due to COVID-19 with limited attendance and loss of concession revenue.

Her suggestion was a good one as she said that there were at least 1,000 followers of the Facebook page ‘Now that’s Hampton’ and she was sure that many took advantage of watching the games that were streamed live on the page.

She figured that each household would probably have four people so by not having to pay to come to the games if those four people were to contribute $5 each that would be $20 per household multiplied by 1,000 equalling out to a contribution of $20,000 to the athletic department.

Now, those numbers may not be exact but one can easily tell where that Henry was going with the suggestion.

I think it would be fun to even set up some sort of contest between the five schools and their communities to see which community could come up with the biggest donation to the athletic funds of each respective school.

And while many think that some schools did well with football and basketball, if you consider the TSSAA takes half of the gate from playoff games plus the money that has to be paid out to officials, custodians, etc., most schools were only able to allow their teams an opportunity to play with minimum funds put in the coffers.

I think Henry has hit it on the head that there is power in numbers and it’s time that the community comes together to support the athletic departments so other sports can also have a shot at a season.

Hold onto your hats
Can you believe that we are only about a week and a half to two weeks away from the beginning of Spring sports.

Many softball and baseball teams have hit the field in preparation for the 2021 season after having basically all of their 2020 season cut short due to COVID.

I, for one, look forward to the clink of aluminum on baseballs and softballs and the popping of leather as the ball zooms across the plate for a strike.

Hopefully, each community will come out and support their respective teams and show them some love after they missed the entire season last year.