Archived Story

Bulldogs put best paw forward

Published 9:34pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The inaugural King’s Fork Basketball Showcase went well Saturday with the help of seemingly the whole Bulldog community.

Even with a last-minute cancellation changing the schedule a little and even with Petersburg foiling the home team in the closing seconds, The Kennel played a fine host for all six games.

Putting on such an event takes a lot more than simply opening up the doors to the gym and rolling a ball out onto the floor.

Beginning inside the gym, which represents only a small bit of everything going on, Bulldog trainers, teachers and coaches from other sports devoted their Saturday, from before the opening tip-off at 10 a.m. to after the final game finishing around midnight. They were at the ready, at the scorer’s table and running tons of errands behind the scenes to keep players safe and the games going.

But off the hardwood is where the real coordination and organization has to happen. It doesn’t take long for an outsider to see why only a few schools would decide to put on such a big event, one with 12 schools coming in from around Virginia and the East Coast.

Think of this simple, but important, example: Players, coaches and officials need access to the locker room whenever they need it, but the locker room doors must remained locked, so someone has to keep tabs on who has what key at what time for what team.

Buses, bus drivers, teams coming in and going out, referees coming and going, even a few stray guys wandering around with notebooks or cameras, kept the Bulldog staff in the halls, front gate, parking lots and locker rooms even busier than the gym in some stretches.

Bulldog student-athletes worked the concession stand all day, again, for well more than 12 hours.

With all this activity, I’m quite sure that, prior to his squad facing Petersburg, Bulldog head coach Josh Worrell didn’t get to sit and watch more than 10 consecutive minutes of the four games before KF’s showdown.

KF Athletic Director Randy Jessee said the Showcase and King’s Fork’s Christmas Tournament, coming up Dec. 27-29 with eight Eastern Region schools in action each day, will be annual events and they’ll improve, as with any big project, as King’s Fork gets used to what goes into it.

Coaches and officials, most of whom have all sorts of experience in what’s worked well and what’s gone terribly wrong, praised and thanked Jessee and other Bulldogs for putting on a top-notch event.

The tournament didn’t look like the rookie run at such a thing for the Bulldogs; so we can hope Saturday’s marathon of great basketball was just the start a new tradition.

 

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