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Districts revive 50-year old community fundraiser for both schools, hosted at Gervais on Jan. 30

COURTESY PHOTO: JO WHEAT - Students and community from both schools filled the stands at North Marion High School last year for the Gervais-North Marion staff basketball game.Each spring, brothers Ty and Tucker Brack can be seen roaming the North Marion baseball complex as assistant coaches for the Husky baseball program at Bob Brack Stadium.

However, in between seasons, the two are fulltime educators at nearby high schools — Ty at North Marion and Tucker at Gervais. Last year the two were brainstorming fundraising ideas to help their prospective institutions bring in a few extra dollars to help with extracurricular student activities.

They consulted their father, Randy, who was a student-athlete at North Marion in 1970 and remembered an old staff game that had been played for a few consecutive years.

"Randal had mentioned something about North Marion and Woodburn used to do it in '69 and '70," Tucker said. "He ended up finding the old scorebook, and it used to be North Marion and Gervais."

The coincidence seemed too serendipitous to ignore. Both Brack brothers were at each school, and it was the 50th anniversary of the old staff game. The pair decided to revive the event, holding it at North Marion last year.

"We were hoping we would make a little bit of money that both schools could have to go toward their activities, and the kids could have a little fun," Tucker said.

It turned into so much more.

Students and community members from each school packed the house at North Marion, bringing the kind of hype and energy unseen in even the biggest playoff games.

"It just took on a life of its own, and it was an amazing night," Tucker said. "One of the loudest nights of any sport I've ever been apart of.

"I've been fortunate enough to play and coach in some pretty big arenas, and it rivaled any of those."

To say that the event was a success was an understatement. The game blew away their expectations, allowing Gervais to help raise money for its prom while North Marion was able to fund several student activities.

This year, the brothers are hoping to eclipse that when the show comes to Gervais for the rematch on Thursday, Jan. 30.

"We're hoping we can match it and exceed it, and raise even more money for both schools," Tucker said.

COURTESY PHOTO: JO WHEAT - The contest pits staff members from each school district against each other in eight-minute quarters, complete with 4-point and 10-point shots, along with promotional giveaways for students throughout the game.Growing up in the mid-1990s when World Wrestling Entertainment was arguably at the height of its popularity, the Brack brothers have taken a page out of the books of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, cutting smack-talking promotional videos and sharing it on YouTube.

After winning last year's event 60-25, the North Marion staff members are crowing loud and proud, while the Gervais faculty-athletes are pitching themselves as heroic underdogs. Every bit of it is over the top and all in good fun, but admittedly competitive juices can take over once the tip-off begins.

"Right now, it's all fun and games, but they throw the ball up, and we want to win," Tucker said.

The game is divided into eight-minute quarters with a running clock that stops in the last two minutes of each period. There are a few bonus incentives to keep the game lively — a four-point shot from several feet behind the 3-point line, and a 10-point shot from just inside half court.

Free throws are one-shot each, worth either two or three points, depending on where the fouls occurred.

COURTESY PHOTO: NORTH MARION SCHOOL DISTRICT - The North Marion School District holds the bragging rights after demolishing Gervais 60-25 last year. The Cougars have pegged themselves as plucky underdogs in the rematch, and the two schools have shared promotional videos on YouTube to hype up the event.Throughout the contest, concessions will be slinging hot food, and promotional Dutch Bros. gift cards and t-shirts will be distributed to the crowd. There will be a 50/50 raffle, and at halftime, two students from each school will attempt half-court shots worth $100.

The goal is to keep the game engaging, lively, fun — and relatively short, both for the sake of those playing and those watching.

"It's not like any of us are in our 20s anymore," Tucker said. "Our minds might think so, but our bodies say you're not going to do that anymore.

We want to get people in and out and have a good time and not sit there forever and think this is really bad basketball and be bored with it."

The rosters will be comprised of various faculty members from each school. Ty and Tucker will be guarding each other, while representatives from each basketball coaching staff will be playing as well, in addition to several other staff members.

The brothers have attempted to talk their dad into playing, but have thus far been rebuffed.

"I told him I want him to wear the uniform the last time he was in this gym in 1971 when Gervais was in the Capitol Conference," Tucker said. "He said no, but we're working on him."

Regardless of who wins, the point is to have fun, bring in some money for school programs and build community between the two nearby schools and student bodies.

"That's the biggest thing, to get kids involved and get kids excited. That's what it's all about," Tucker said. "I think sometimes we forget that high school can be fun."

COURTESY PHOTO: NORTH MARION SCHOOL DISTRICT - The North Marion-Gervais staff basketball game is a revival of a former fundraiser. The two school played each other in 1969 and 1970.

North Marion/Gervais Staff Basketball Game

Where: Gervais High School

When: Thursday, Jan. 30

Time: 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $5 for adults, $1 for kids/students

Additional info: Concessions will be open. $100 halfcourt shot for two students from each school, Dutch Bros. gift cards and t-shirts and a 50/50 raffle

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