Tuscarora’s New Double Header Basketball Schedule

The benefits of the new schedule and what players and coaches think about it.


What is Tuscarora’s new “double header” basketball schedule, and why was it implemented? This type of schedule means that both the girls’ and boys’ varsity teams play on the same nights. Mr. Tallent, the athletic director at Tuscarora, explained that varsity games start at 6:15, and the girls and boys teams alternate going first so that both teams get the chance to have the “showcase” game. At 5:00, there is either a JV or freshman boys’ or girls’ game. This was implemented because of a referee shortage, and it is easier to send a group of referees to one location than to have them go back and forth between schools on the same night. Another benefit of this schedule is that students are encouraged to see multiple games. Oftentimes, girls’ basketball has been overlooked with few spectators in the stands.

Michael Newkirk, coach of the boys varsity team, was the first head coach of the girls’ varsity team for 9 years before coaching the boys team. Newkirk is a big supporter of the double headers because the girls games he coached in the past wouldn’t have as many spectators as the boys games. There were so few audience members that “a lot of times I could whisper in my huddle and everybody in the gym would hear what I’m saying,” Newkirk said. He thinks that the double header schedule will encourage people to attend both games.

“Overall, I love it; I think it just creates a great atmosphere for our students,” Newkirk said.

Lillie Schievert, a player on the girls varsity team, likes the new schedule.”It creates a sense of community between the girls and boys teams,” she said. The schedule gives the teams an opportunity to easily watch each other and cheer each other on.
Gavin O’Malley, a player on the boys’ team, agreed, “I like it more because everybody is there for each other.” Double headers encourage students and other players to support each other.