In today’s edition of The Messenger, we have a special series of pullouts with stories revolving around the theme of “The Rest of the Story” (i.e. the story behind the story). Sportswise, we have features on the local high school mascots, Madisonville-North Hopkins softball coach Jenn Valeriote, 18 holes with a foursome at the Eli Barron Invitational, a day on the field at an NFL game and the ins and outs of high school scheduling, among others. Here’s North girls soccer coach John Tichenor, from that last story, on how he put together the 2012 schedule for his Lady Maroons:
John: You have to play everybody in your district to seed. So Dawson Springs, Hopkins County Central and Caldwell are in our districts, because the state aligned soccer with basketball. Therefore, I don’t schedule Union County anymore, because they’re not in our district. I did leave Webster on, because they wonted to play us. So those games are just given.
Even though the Owensboro schools aren’t in our region anymore, they almost always usually have quality schools and quality programs, and plus, they’re an hour away. And then Henderson, which is not in our district but is a big rival to us, so that’s a given.
So you take the Owensboro games—that’s four games, you take Hendo, that’s five and then add the three teams in our district, that’s 8.
Some games are just there. Hopkinsville is not in our district, but it’s 35-40 minutes down the road, so they’re always going to be on our schedule. They got a quality school, quality program and the coach is a friend of mine. University Heights, again, they always seem to put together a decent team — they’re 45 minutes down the road. Ohio County, same way, they’ve got a good program. So you’ve got 12 games that you’re almost always going to have on your schedule.
What I don’t want to get into when I look at the schedule is imbalance. If I play a tough game, maybe put someone in there where we think we can win. Looking at my schedule, we’re in two tourneys early, so we’re going to play good teams: Greenwood, Murray, Marshall, Henry County and then Greenwood again. So we’re top-heavy, mostly due to the tournaments. Looking at my schedule, I didn’t do such a good job. Sometimes, it’s inevitable.
And then of course, we try to coordinate with the boys, and avoid the same home dates we have (since we share a home field.)
You add the tournaments we’re in, that gives you about 15 games, and then there’s the Donley Classic, where I bring in a team from the West and two teams east of Elizabethown to play. So that’s about 18 games.
As for tournaments, I’ve been doing it so long that for example, Marshall County has some of the best facilities in the state. So I know we’re going to play on quality surfaces, the distances are pretty close, and plus I’m not going to have to travel to Louisville or Lexington. Those teams are coming there. So we want to reach out and play a variety of teams as much as we can.
For the Donley Classic, last year we had the same 2 teams and when they got through with the tournament, they were quality teams and they were well coaches, they approached me and said ‘We’d like to come back next year.’ Normally, I don’t do that, I usually open it to someone else, but I said, OK that’s fine.
But normally, we have a coaches Listserv and I send an e-mail out to all the coaches in the state and invite them to this tournament. Usually, it’s first-come, first-served, and usually in the next 15 minutes, I have two teams who want to play.
These dates are corresponding dates over the years. Let’s say they’re playing Hendo on a certain date. Maybe they’ve been playing on that corresponding date for 10 years, I can’t just go in and wreck that date. When we all try to stay on corresponding dates, it works best.