OUR VIEWS: Reconsider high school tournament matchups

Jun 6, 2012

Late last month, the Grand Haven's varsity boys lacrosse team advanced to the regional round of the state tournament. The Buccaneers were the sixth seed in the tournament and, after beating Vicksburg in the first round, advanced to the regional quarterfinals against South Lyon, the No. 3 seed.

Another regional semifinal featured second-seeded Rockford against No. 6 seed Hartland.

A quick glance at a Michigan map shows that the travel for these two contests, so early in the state tournament, is way out of whack. Grand Haven had to make a 150-plus-mile trip across the state to South Lyon, while Hartland had to shell out nearly $4 a gallon for a 120-mile bus ride to Rockford.

Had common sense come into play, the games could have been flipped. Grand Haven would have happily cut its travel distance to a third with a familiar 50-mile jaunt to Rockford, while Hartland would have been thrilled with a 20-mile trip to South Lyon.

We understand the logic behind seeding a tournament, providing for the best matchups and allowing the best teams the best possible chance at reaching the state finals.

But at what expense?

Seeding is fine, but it should be broken it up geographically to minimize travel expenses. After all, the other regional matchups were much more reasonable — Holland West Ottawa at Forest Hills Eastern and Lansing Waverly at Holt.

Schools are trying desperately to pinch their pennies and stretch their dollars. The state athletic association forcing them to shell out big bucks for trips across Michigan when other options are available simply isn't acceptable.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

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