News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 6, 2013

Coaches share mixed feelings on North-South move

Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The second shoe has fallen.

After the Terre Haute North-Terre Haute South high school football game was moved from Memorial Stadium to a high school field — North’s, specifically — back in August, this week’s announcement that the boy-girl basketball doubleheader between the two rivals also was heading for a high school gym — South’s — was hardly a surprise.

“We think it’s only fair that North or South make something off the game,” Vigo County School Corporation superintendent Danny Tanoos told the Tribune-Star on Tuesday.

Tanoos indicated the school corporation was seeking some concessions — literally — in an arrangement with Indiana State, Hulman Center and Sodexo, but got no feedback.

Under the previous arrangement, the school corporation rented Hulman Center and paid for its police services. The participating schools received gate receipts, but nothing else.

So on Jan. 31, the North and South girls teams will play at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys game at approximately 8.

“We’re still working on some details,” said South athletic director Brian Mancuso, “but it will be exciting for the kids.

“The football game [at North] was a success, and we look forward to the same atmosphere for basketball.”

“It’s exciting,” South boys basketball coach Scott Ridge agreed. “The kids really liked to play in Hulman Center, but at the same time it will be nice to have our home crowd on our court in our gym. It’s a great atmosphere at the Pizza Hut [Wabash Valley Classic] … and I assume [the North-South doubleheader] will be a sellout.”

A slightly contrary opinion came from Mike Allen, North’s girls coach.

“I think it’s a shame [the doubleheader] got moved,” Allen said. “It was great for the kids to get an opportunity to play at a venue like Hulman Center … and it’s sad that was taken away.

“But a North-South game is special no matter where it’s played.”

From purely a basketball standpoint, Allen sees advantages to playing at South — and in his own gym the following season.

“For our team, it’s a benefit,” he said. “It’s a high school court, and the coaches can communicate with their players better.”

“It’s a [high school] regulation-sized court,” Ridge agreed. “I think our fans will be excited, and the student sections can be closer to floor [in the high school gyms].”

An advantage football has over basketball is, of course, the fact that it’s played outdoors. Seating at North for the football game was expanded with the addition of extra bleachers, but that will be impossible in the high school gyms.

“It will be a lot of fun,” Ridge promised. “People will just have to get there early.”