State AD's react to moving girls' basketball tournament - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State AD's react to moving girls' basketball tournament from Madison

After Tuesday's announcement -- moving the high school girls' state basketball tournament out of Madison -- athletic directors from around the state react to the news at the annual WIAA meeting.

Athletic directors from around the state spent Wednesday morning finding out what they need to adjust.

"Now the boys are moved up and the girls are moved back but we had anticipated the opposite to be in effect," said Athens athletic director Gary Beastrom.

"They were just about done and now we won't have enough practice dates in to play," said DC Everest Athletic Director Lee Ann Kitchell. "Those very first games so everything will have to be rolled forward and revised a little bit."

For at least the next two years, the girls will be playing at the Resch Center -- instead of in Madison. It's a move some Green Bay area school leaders say will be a nice change of pace, but not everyone agrees.

"The Resch Center is a great venue," said De Pere athletic director Jeff Byszek. "It's got all the amenities that the Kohl Center has."

"The tradition of having it in Madison is something people are used to," said WIAA Board of Control member Jack Klebesadel.

An athletic director from Madison said there's something special about playing for the gold ball in the capitol. But he understands changes had to be made.

"Twenty-three sports sponsored by the WIAA and they're all over the state," said Madison West athletic director Mike Lipp. "Many are in Madison but not all."

"Obviously having the girls at the Kohl Center would probably be the best idea for the tradition," said Klebesadel. "As far as it not being available, the Resch Center is a great location, great venue for the girls."

The Resch Center is a familiar spot for the WIAA. That's where the state girls' volleyball tournament is held. And area AD's said when it comes to the state tournament, the event itself is more important than where it's played.

"A team that makes it to state is happy to make it to state because that's the joy, that's the beauty, that's the celebration," said Kitchell. "Whether the celebration gets to take place in Madison or in Green Bay, the teams will travel, the parents will travel and our fans will travel."

The boys' tournament will still be held at the Kohl Center in Madison. WIAA officials said there was no conflict for the dates that tournament is scheduled.

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