In a couple months, The Messenger will be publishing its annual “Progress” edition, which will have more than 20 extra stories in it, all dealing with the theme “Behind The Scenes.” One of my sports stories will be on the ins and outs of scheduling, and to that end, I’ve been talking with various area athletic directors on what they do to put a sports schedule together each year. Here is some of the Q&A I did last week with Webster County AD Matt Bell on the topic:
The Messenger: What was the schedule like when you took over in the summer of 2010?
Matt Bell: When I took over the schedule was pretty much set for all sports. Most sports are scheduled either one or two years in advance. For example, football is a 2-year contract, so the schedule was pretty much set – we were set for this year and last year in football. And then basketball is kinda tricky: you might have a two=year contract that is being renewed or you may be in the middle of a 2-year contract. Most of your basketball games are 2-year contracts. But for the most part, your athletic schedule is set one calendar year for each sport.
Baseball and softball, we really don’t do contracts just for the simple fact that you get into so many rainouts and rescheduling can be a nightmare. So it’s just a gentleman’s agreements between the schools. Your contract sports are volleyball, soccer, football and basketball.
The Messenger: What made you decide to put Hopkins County Central on the football schedule this year after only scrimmaging them last year?
Matt Bell: It was the second year of the Scott County contract. We were was just way out of league playing them, so Scott County was fortunate enough to allow us out of our contract and Hopkins Central was needing a game, we needed a game, and with us being so close and on the same level of competition, that was just a great pickup for us. For 2013 and 2014, it’ll be a 2-year contract.
It just makes sense for us to play ‘em. We’re just 30-40 minutes apart and we’ll have fans at both games. Those are the games we’re trying to get back on the schedule. And that’s another reason why we’re picking Crittenden County back up in 2013. It’s just too close and too good of a game not to play.
The Messenger: To what extend does travel dictate scheduling?
Matt Bell: With Webster, travel is 100 percent booster club-oriented. The Board doesn’t give us anything for it, so our booster clubs have to be real aware of the amount of money they’re going to be required to spend for travel. One thing that really helps us is state law prohibits school buses from transporting equipment and students on the same bus, so that’s why you see a lot of schools take three buses — that third bus is loaded with equipment. But in our case, we use the Mike Hamilton Charter Service, so we’re able to put all our equipment on the charter bus and we only have to take one bus. We’re saving money and not spending as much as the other schools that take school buses.