North Marion, Gervais team up for staff basketball game
The North Marion and Gervais high school basketball programs may not be scheduled to meet on the hardwood this season, but that doesn't mean there will be no showdown between the Huskies and Cougars.
Instead, staff members of the two school districts will suit up this month in a charity basketball game to help raise money for each high school's respective activities funding.
"The activities director at Gervais was trying to think of ways to raise money for the different dances they run," said Tucker Brack, a teacher at Gervais High School. "Back in the old days, Woodburn staff used to play North Marion staff."
And while Woodburn may be closer to either school district, the fact that Brack's brother Ty is the activities coordinator at North Marion High School, and the two share assistant coaching duties for the Huskies baseball program made the pairing of the two schools ideal. But unlike during spring season, this time the two brothers will be on opposite sides.
"He's putting together a team and I'm putting together a team," Tucker Brack said. "It's going to be a fun night for the kids and hopefully raise some money for both schools, and we're going to split it 50-50."
The event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 at North Marion High School, with plans to host a follow-up game next year at Gervais High School. Tickets will cost $5 for adults and $1 for students. There will be prizes available, and the concession stand will be pumping out food and refreshments during the contest. The game will pit staff members from each school district against each other in eight-minute quarters with running clocks.
Select students will be picked to coach each of the teams, but when it comes to officiating the contest, the organizers wanted to make sure they hired professional referees to make sure things didn't accidentally get out of hand.
"Right now it's fun and we're laughing about it, but as soon as that ball goes up in the air, it's going to turn into a competition for us," Tucker Brack said.
And while the majority of the staff members who have volunteered to play are on the backsides of their basketball careers, there is plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Gervais High School math teacher Brad Simmons stands at 6-foot-10 and boasts collegiate playing experience, as does Sam Brown learning assistant Andre Brown.
Meanwhile, North Marion's squad features Kelsey Kahle — one of the best players in history for the Portland State women's basketball program, and an inductee in both the Portland State and North Marion athletic halls of fame.
Brack said there has been some playful back-and-forth taunting between schools to drum up interest in the event, and that the competitive juices will be fully flowing by the time the game tips off. But in the end, it's all about raising money for a good cause while having fun and providing an evening of entertainment for both communities.
"People can come out and laugh at all the old timers," Brack said.