By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
Not too long ago I was a high school baseball player here in McKinney. I remember a lot of things about playing at Boyd during the four-year span, but the best part about the entire on-field experience was playing our rivals twice a year.
Whether it was McKinney High or Plano West or Allen, I remember grabbing the schedule in early September and marking those games down on the calendar, anticipating the atmosphere that my teammates and I would play in front of that night.
But if there was one thing that I hated about the district schedule was that it prevented one team from owning “bragging rights.” Yes, yes, we cared more about finishing in first place, but we also wanted to look over in that Plano West dugout and know we could say we were better that season because we had the better head-to-head record.
It is kind of hard to do that when you are scheduled to play just twice in a district schedule.
Fortunately for the six baseball teams in the newly formed District 10-5A, McKinney, Boyd, Allen, Plano, Plano West, and Plano East will all get the opportunity to claim those bragging rights with the new district schedule for the 2013 season.
The schedule consists of 15 games for each team, with every team playing the other ones three times. Therefore, if Boyd defeats Allen two out of three games this season, the Broncos would have the “bragging rights” over the Eagles. Pretty cool, huh?
It is downright awesome if you ask me.
But not only does a team play the other district members three times, but for the first five weeks of the schedule, both Tuesday and Friday nights will pit the same two teams against each other. The only difference between the games is that they will alternate home and away on the two nights. After the five weeks a team would play every other team one more time, with the location varied for each game.
So after the McKinney Lions just defeated the Plano East Panthers on Tuesday night at Al Alford Field, the Lions will travel to East on Friday night to try and take the season series and earn those coveted “bragging rights.”
As a baseball nerd, I love the new schedule and all of its effects. Not only does this give a team a chance to claim the season series over another school, but it truly will show who is the best team in the district over the 15-game marathon.
Now like all things in sports, there are some downsides to the scheduling. Every team will have to play Saturday games as the season wears on, often times after playing contests on Tuesday and Friday nights. This will put a real emphasis on having deep pitching depth, as teams with weak staffs will struggle to compete in those weekend contests.
This setup will also give head coaches the opportunity to use their “ace” pitcher in various ways. Could a coach throw his stud four innings on Tuesday night and bring him back for a couple innings on Saturday? Sure he could.
The most exciting week of the baseball season in 10-5A, at least around these parts, will be the week of April 9-12. That is simply known as “Crosstown Rival Week,” when the Broncos will host the Lions on Tuesday night, and the teams will then convene at MHS on Friday night. After that week, the teams will meet one more time at Bronco Field on April 26 for the regular season finale. Unlike in basketball, volleyball, or softball, one of the two McKinney rivals can finally claim those desired “bragging rights.”
If you ask me, that is what high school sports is all about.