Bleacher Bits: Noticing the effort behind the scenes
It's no secret that the sports reporters for Tri-County Newspapers spend a great deal of time in gymnasiums and at ballfields every school year.
There are literally hundreds of games to cover and keep straight each year, and there's no better way to do it than to cover games in person.
But before the ball is kicked off, tipped off or volleyed, we and legions of enthusiastic fans must first get into the games and perhaps grab a bite to eat. Those people working the gate and the concession stands are who I'd like to recognize.
Taking admission at first glance might seem like an easy role to fill — sit, tell people how much it costs to get in and then take their money. But at many of the schools I've visited, I've noticed that the role has many responsibilities and is performed under varying conditions.
First and foremost, the gate person takes the price of admission and needs to be able to make change, but then consider how close that person needs to sit to doors that open to the elements. Many sit there for junior varsity and varsity contests, perhaps with some knitting or a good book to pass the time, as many don't have full view of the games being played.
Also consider that at many schools not only are they the sentries to the game, but often they are forced to become babysitters to groups of young kids who could care less about what's happening in the gym. Parents pay the admission and take their seats, and some choose to let their young kids run wherever they please for the next hour or two.
There are liability issues just waiting to happen.
Then there are the concession stand workers, and I can safely say I've taste-tested the wares at all of the schools covered by the newspapers.
Some are manned by the teams themselves, with varsity players dispensing delectables while the junior varsity plays, and the JV squad returning the favor while the varsity game is going on.
Others are manned by parents, and all have been successful in providing me with snacks or meals and adding inches to my waistline.
Could the games go on without them? Well, some do, since not all sports require admission, nor do all generate enough interest to warrant opening up the snack bar.
Technically, they all could go on without them, but each concession stand worker or ticket-taker is one more person to talk to, so they wouldn't be as enjoyable.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com. Like us on Facebook at TCN Sports; follow us on Twitter @TCNvarsity