Tip-off for Falcon home basketball games will be a little earlier this season.
South Whidbey athletic director Scott Mauk said agreements were reached with the referees association and Cascade Conference schools to start varsity home games at 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes earlier. Six of the other seven schools in South Whidbey’s conference have to travel by ferry, and the winter schedule eliminates 9 p.m. sailings from Clinton to Mukilteo. In years past, schools and athletic officials have missed the 8:30 p.m. sailing and are forced to wait another hour.
“They were missing that one boat by a few minutes,” Mauk said. “Now they can comfortably make that boat and not have to wait that extra hour.
“We appreciate that they come here and we’ll do anything we can to keep them coming.”
It will also benefit South Whidbey’s students. Finishing Tuesday night games earlier will mean an earlier bed time.
“Or they can do homework,” Mauk said.
Though the new start time is finalized for this season, it may not be permanent next year. Mauk acknowledged that parents working over town may struggle with the new tip-off time.
“If this becomes something where there’s lots of feedback on South Whidbey, we’d look at it,” he said.
The main concern was to continue to host and have competition. Friday Harbor High School struggles with its athletic scheduling as a conference independent.
South Whidbey, however, was approached by an international competitor. The Falcon basketball teams will face a club of 20 students traveling with 11 adult chaperones from Penrith, Australia this season.
“We’re really stoked,” Mauk said.