Friday, March 4, 2011
The Maize High boys basketball team and cheerleaders loaded a bus headed for sub-state in Dodge City, while the Northwest High boys basketball team coaches drove separate rented vehicles with no room for the cheerleaders.
"It is a big story, us going to Dodge to play Maize or to play Goddard. On the flip side, Dodge City and Garden City have to make those trips in here all the time. They were here last week for state wrestling," said J. Means, Northwest High Athletic Director.
With rising prices at the gas pumps and school budget concerns, some asked if there should be change in the way schools qualify for the state tournament.
"It does put a little crunch into our budget but that's the way the playoffs system is right now. As athletic directors, we're trying to change the system where maybe the higher seed would host the home game," said Eric Wolgast, Maize High Athletic Director.
Not many fans will be able to see these two teams play against each other for the first and most crucial time this year.
"It's a little ridiculous especially when you consider the fuel costs. We're a couple miles apart from each other," said Maybrit Cramer, parent of a Northwest High basketball player. "In the other hand, when they set up the bracket, they didn't know that Northwest and Maize would be playing each other."
Playoffs are hosted by one of eight teams in a bracket and this year it landed in Western Kansas. The boys and girls play Friday and Saturday, respectively.
"It's nice to be on neutral but traveling clear to Dodge City is certainly a strain on the budget constraints that schools already have," said Cramer.
The 6A state basketball tournament will be held at Koch Arena, March 9-12.