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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things that are new: An OCC All-Star Game

Unlike a few other wishful thinking ideas of mine, this one is all set to happen...and I had nothing to do with it.  Coincidence, I think not.

An Ohio Cardinal Conference All-Star basketball game. Good idea, right?  The inaugural game will take place at Ashland High School on March 24th with a girls game at 6pm, followed by the boys game around 7:30pm.

In speaking with Ron Dessecker,  OCC commish, he clarified that participants need only to be a senior, not all-conference, a starter, or any other qualifier.  I'm guessing participants will be nominated by their coach....but in doing some quick math on the rosters listed on the OCC site, there's 41 seniors playing basketball in the conference.  That's kind of a lot.

I wonder if teams will be limited to a certain number of nominees?  If you put 12 kids on a team, that makes 24 spots to fill, or 3 spots for each team in the OCC.  Three is tough, Wooster has 8 seniors, Orrville, Lex and West Holmes each have 6. 

But just because I had/have nothing to do with it, doesn't mean I don't have an array of ideas and suggestions for those who are planning the event.

It would be nice to honor the players & coaches of the year at this event, just a quick ceremony at halftime or something.  Even if they're an underclassman, they can still be invited to attend and receive their honor.

This might also be an opportunity for schools to do some kind of fundraiser at this event too, let the OCC Leadership committee thingy get involved at each school.  Maybe the school who sells the most presale tickets gets a donation made in their name to a local charity.  Just thinking out loud.

The only sticking point may be in OHSAA rules concerning post-season all-star games.  Players from Orrville and Wooster currently have the opportunity to be invited to play in the Berkey Classic in Smithville, and I'm sure players from teams in Richland county and Ashland county have similar opportunities. 

My first thought in learning of this OCC game, was that Wayne Co. kids would have to choose one or the other, but in a quick review of OHSAA rules specific to boys basketball, they do permit seniors to participate in 2 post-season all-star games.  The only issue may be if the two all-star games are held on the same night.  The Wayne County game is held around the same time, pending all local teams are finished with tournament runs.  Let's hope they're on different nights so kids aren't forced to choose.

The only other issue yet to be decided is how to divide the teams.  Mr. Dessecker said that will be determined closer to the end of the year when the coaches meet to vote for all-conference and players of the year.  Allow me to offer 2 proposals.....

Team 1 (Western OCC)
Madison (D2)
Mansfield Senior (D2)
Lexington (D2)
Clear Fork (D4)

Team 2 (Eastern OCC)
Ashland (D2)
Orrville (D3)
Wooster (D2)
West Holmes (D3) could use Route 30 as the dividing line.

Team 1 (South of 30)
West Holmes
Clear Fork
Mansfield Senior

Team 2 (North of 30)

I actually like the 2nd option better, I think it's a little more balanced.

I'm sure as something like this gets legs, it could become a yearly event, perhaps even rotating throughout all 8 OCC gyms.  Maybe even a few skill games like a 3 point shooting contest or some kind of timed obstacle course dribbling thing.

Your thoughts?  I know there's a camp out there that doesn't like all-star games, but what's wrong with giving seniors one more game to have fun with other conference teams?  This builds commaraderie and helps the  communities to get together.

I'm all for it.  What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Mar 24 is a Wednesday, the Berkey Classic has been on Tuesday's in the past. The State finals are the 25-27th so this would be a busy week for hoops fans.

Anonymous said...

Also there is a charity all-star game at Lexington sometime after the season with seniors from Richland, Ashland, Morrow and a couple other counties that pretty well packs the gym at Lex so that would include Ashland, Mansfield, Lexington, Clear Fork, and Madison players who would probably choose this over an OCC game.

Red Rider Sports Blog (Tim Snyder) said...

about the charity game. As i explained, seniors can participate in 2 post season exhibitions or all-star they wouild still be able to play in the OCC game and also the game at Lexington....just as the Orrville & Wooster players could still play in the Berkey Classic in long as the dates dont conflict.