Howell Central to host districts for boys, girls basketball

Spartans have home court advantage for some of the biggest games of the season.

As the basketball season comes to a close, there is one final push to end the winter season on a high note. Winning districts allows the team to move on, losing ends their season. This year, the Spartans have home court advantage for both of our boys and girls basketball teams.

Mrs. Annette Herdt, the activities office assistant, has a very busy schedule for the next couple of weeks as she and Activities Director Mr. Scott Harris prepare our school for hosting districts.

“We have to plan everything,” Mrs. Herdt said. “We have to make sure there are enough workers to work every single night, we have to make sure we are attentive to the officials needs, the workers needs, then also all of the athletes and coaches coming in. We have to have programs, so I have to make sure all of the schools give me their updated rosters for districts.”

The process to host districts can be a difficult one, depending on if multiple schools want to host it. The decision is made by the members of MSHSAA who vote on which school would best fit the bill for that two year session.

“Every two years, MSHSAA assigns teams to districts in each sports, based on class size and geographic location,” Mr. Harris said. “At this time, they also take request to see who would like to host them for those two years. The teams involved in the district tournament then express interest and if there are multiple teams interested, the participating teams then vote on it.”

Although the planning and setting up process can be difficult and overwhelming, hosting districts has a decent advantage for our school.

“Our students get to play the biggest games of the year on their home floor and get some additional home games. We have the opportunity to showcase our facilities to outside schools and fans,” Mr. Harris said. “Our parents and fans get to attend the district tournament at a close location and don’t have to travel.”

In addition to the extra fans, the school receives extra funds from ticket and concession sales during that week.

“Because it is through MSHSAA, they dictate how much we have to charge for admission, and they charge a fee,” Mrs. Herdt said. “After that the rest is our profit that we get to put back into the school.”

With the recent changes, Classes 4 and 5 (FHC is in class five) play their games a week after the first three classes. This causes problems with spring sports as their tryouts start the same time districts start.

“With the state changing the schedule a few years ago and running the Class one, two, and three state tournament a week earlier, the Class 4 and 5 tournaments are now the same week as the start of spring sports and I have to block off the use of our gyms during this week,” Mr. Harris said. “With the weather, sometimes soccer and baseball are trying to get inside along with boys volleyball already being in the gym, it forces us to limit some of the spring sports use of the gyms and this can cause problems for our coaches.”

Having both boys and girls basketball is tough, especially for Mr. Patrick Reed, who announces their games. Mr. Reed has been announcing for years, and he has a blast doing it.

“I like to announce in front of the biggest crowds possible,” Reed said. “The bigger crowds you get, the more fun it is for me, and when you get to the postseason the crowds get bigger. It’s more fun because the energy is better, and districts will bring the crowds to our school.”

Announcing all of the games does put some stress on Mr. Reed, though. Some days, he’ll be at school from six in the morning until 10 at night, leaving no room to see his family.

“It’s more work for sure, especially how we schedule it now, they’re both [playing] on the same night,” Mr. Reed said. “Your voice can only do so much. I’m not talking, I’m essentially yelling; I’m changing my voice so it doesn’t sound like my nasally science voice. By the end of it, my voice will be shot.”

Having this home court advantage helps bring our own students to the games according to Mr. Reed. He believes that they are a huge part in how the teams perform, and it is his job to help rile up the crowd.

“Can an exciting atmosphere amp you up and get adrenaline rushing? Absolutely. I think that [my announcing] could be a piece of the puzzle,” Mr. Reed said. “The more students that come, the more [the athletes] want to play for them, the louder the crowd is, the louder I have to be, the more I interact with the crowd, like if a big shot was hit at a crucial moment, I can alert them in a more exciting way that gets them fired up. Everything builds on everything. I don’t think I impact the game, but I do think the students enjoy it, and I hope I can be a piece to the puzzle when we’re having fun.”