05/09/12 A surprisingly slim crowd of area coaches, teachers, fans, and former players attended a town hall meeting last night in the Plymouth High School auditorium. This was one of eleven different locations where the town hall meetings are being held to allow the public a chance to voice their opinions on the topic of the old single class basketball tournament and the current multiple class format which is underway.
IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox opened the meeting by presenting the purpose of the evening. He then introduced State Senator Mike Delph who explained that any individual who wished to speak would have two minutes to state their opinion.
Ron Sissel from the 1982 Plymouth State Championship Team introduced Todd Samuelson also of the ‘82 team who were both in favor of the single class system. Samuelson also read a letter sent by Scott Skiles and as previously reported in favor of a one class system.
Overall, it was very close, but there were a few more in favor of one class over the multiple class format. Most who spoke in favor of multiple class were from smaller schools who had benefited from competing with other schools of the same size. Those who were in favor of single class believed that the excitement and rivalry were gone with the multiple class system, and that the distance traveled for sectional and regional contests reduced the fan base for these and many other games thus reducing revenue.
Dreaming big and instilling in the young athletes that no matter what size school they were playing against, if they worked hard enough and wanted it bad enough they could win seemed to be a theme for those in favor of the one class system. PHS Coach Ryan Bales believes in the single class system, and noted that at the very least there needs to be adjustments to the current multiple class system. Others agreed including Coach Mark Galloway from Culver Military Academy who prefers the single class format but would entertain a compromise of blending the past with the future.
The evening concluded with a straw vote which will be a part of the decision making process. Senator Delph added that it was a great meeting with great ideas to be considered. This meeting was number eight of the eleven scheduled.
Susan Eggleston Correspondent