There has been plenty written about the upcoming 13th Region Tournament that will be held at The ARENA in Corbin at the end of February 2010.
I think I will put my two cents in the mix and say what a great thing the 13th region administrators have done. No more scrambling for seats, having to get to the game hours before it is schedule to start just to get a seat. No more fighting with someone who is saving an entire row of seats.
Hopefully, no more kids running around the hospitality room when others have to go to the concession stand. Hopefully, better parking than in the past. I’ve gone to a game several hours early just to get a decent parking space that was suppose to be designated for the media.
I was one of many who attended the Coal Classic, the scrimmage games at the ARENA and I was really pleased to see how it was handled. There are a few minor things I hope to see changed, such as putting the students on the floor behind the goals. I think that will give the games the same touch as Rupp Arena.
There’s no reason for the move to the ARENA not to be successful. I’m sure Cliff Clinger and Jimmy Durham, the Athletic Director at North Laurel, will put on a great show. You have to give Durham credit for getting the ball rolling this year. When he wants to get something done he really works at it and does it first class.
I know as a coach he did an exceptional job selling his program and pushing his players in the right direction. He promoted his players like no other coach I have seen in the past.
Someone wrote that the small schools got their way by passing the motion to play at the ARENA. To me, it looks as if several big schools such as Bell County, Knox Central, Whitley County and North Laurel helped make it pass.
I can understand Harlan County and Harlan fighting to keep the tournament from being in one location because I have been to the new gym at Harlan County. It is an awesome place to hold the tournament. But, the one thing I feared was parking. They don’t have the parking yet to accommodate several thousand fans. A lot of fans would end of parking on the highway and we know how dangerous that can be.
Clay County fought for their gym and rightfully so. I didn’t have a problem with the tournament being at Clay County several years ago, but then I am not your typical fan and my seat was reserved on press row. But, for someone wanting to see all the games, you had to get in line for each session. And, that is a pain in the neck. But, for having the tournament there it was a good atmosphere.
I’m not sure what South Laurel’s reason was behind voting no other than to get to host the tournament. They too, have plenty of parking, but like Clay County it would still be double sessions. Neither school had enough reserve seating as well.
However, in the end it was the small schools that had the swing vote. With Williamsburg and Red Bird switching to a yes vote the motion passed.
Let’s hope when the tournament rolls around in February, everyone is happy with the outcome.