By Mike Grant Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — For students at Barr-Reeve it’s spring break, but with the Vikings boys basketball team headed to the championship game in the IHSAA tournament, the mood around the community is far from subdued. That means it is a hectic time for athletic director Aaron Ash.
“It really began Sunday,” said Ash. “Bryan (Hughes) began going over game film and finishing out the stats and we had to get all of that together and up to Indianapolis. Then it became a matter of meeting quick deadlines and making fast turnarounds.”
Getting a school ready to head to the biggest tournament of the year creates a lot of behind the scenes work that extend from ticket sales to making hotel reservations. “We’ve got the tickets ready for sale,” said Ash. “We received 2,140 tickets and I would say we have the potential to sell about all of them.”
Even with the school shut down for spring break Ash says he is getting plenty of volunteers to help with the sales. “We had a couple of people step right up and offer to help with the sales,” he said. “I’ve received calls from the community and staff saying they’d be willing to come in and help.”
Tickets aren’t the only thing that needs organizing for a trip to the finals. “By Tuesday at noon we had to get our list in for the banquet,” said Ash. “Then we had to reserve hotel rooms for the team. Then there is getting additional information in on the kids who might be up for the Mental Attitude award. There’s a whole lot of things that just have to be done and organized.”
The team is set to practice at Banker’s Life Field House Thursday night. After that they will stay in Indianapolis until the game is over on Saturday. “We’ve had some local businesses step up and put up some money to help cover some of the cost associated with this,” said Ash.
While getting ready to play for a title may involve a lot of work, the good news at Barr-Reeve is that the school has some experience at it. This will mark the fourth time the school has sent a team to the finals. “Superintendent Travis Madison was here during some of the other trips, so he has been a big help in getting things done,” said Ash.
The trip to the finals is something the community has been pointing toward since Barr-Reeve lost their last game last season. “The expectations in the community have been very high for this team,” said Ash. “I think the kids and Coach Hughes have done a great job in handling those expectations, and getting to the finals.”
The community is now ramping up for another big game on a big stage in Indianapolis. “It never gets old,” said Ash. “If you go up to the Viking Mart or the Stop and Sea there’s a real buzz building. I’m really thankful to be one of eight athletic director’s in the state with the privilege of doing this. The team gets to go play for a championship and the community gets to enjoy it.”