New Hanson Classic schedule announcedFor Hanson High School Athletic Director Jim Bridge, rescheduling the Hanson Classic — which was postponed Saturday — has been a mess. School cancellations throughout the area Friday and Monday haven’t helped the matter, nor have the two Dakota Wesleyan basketball games already scheduled for the Corn Palace this Saturday, the new date for the 28th annual Classic.
For Hanson High School Athletic Director Jim Bridge, rescheduling the Hanson Classic — which was postponed Saturday — has been a mess.
School cancellations throughout the area Friday and Monday haven’t helped the matter, nor have the two Dakota Wesleyan basketball games already scheduled for the Corn Palace this Saturday, the new date for the 28th annual Classic.
But despite all the complications, Bridge said he doesn’t regret pushing the high-profile basketball event back a week, even after Saturday’s weather turned out to be much nicer than originally forecasted.
“The long-range weather forecast looks better than what it did the other day,” Bridge said. “Some people have asked me if I’ve second guessed myself, but my answer has been no. Not based on what the weather forecast was Friday.”
After the postponement of Saturday’s event, all but one of the 18 original teams were available to return this week. Viborg, which will be at its conference tournament, will be the only team missing, and would have left an uneven number of teams. That problem was solved when Tripp-Delmont/Armour volunteered to step out of the event.
But the biggest problem was figuring out what to do about the college doubleheader between DWU and Dana College, which was already scheduled for Saturday at the Corn Palace. The final decision was to start the Hanson Classic at 9 a.m., play the first two games and then take a break for the DWU games at noon and 2 p.m.
Five more high school games will follow, with the first one scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. and the last at 9:30 p.m. The day’s other game between Mount Vernon and Clark/Willow Lake will be played at Hanson High School in Alexandria at a yet-to-be determined time.
Admission for the entire day will be $7 for adults and $4 for students — the normal admission for the Hanson Classic. DWU and Hanson High School are working on a financial agreement.
“I think it will work out fine,” Bridge said. “I just appreciate the Corn Palace and Dakota Wesleyan working on it with us.
“I’m sure some people will not come out on the good end,” he added, while also expressing sympathy that the Mount Vernon game had to be moved from the Corn Palace. “I just wish everybody could understand how many people are affected trying to get this thing put together.”
Other rescheduling options were considered, including either splitting the games between Friday and Saturday evenings or moving the entire event to Huron Arena, where all eight games likely could have been played consecutively on the same day.
In the end, however, the Corn Palace was already booked for a concert on Friday night, and moving the entire event to Huron would have been straying too far from tradition.
“Some people probably would have been upset with that,” Bridge said of the Huron option. “The option was thrown out to me, but I didn’t even check. I didn’t want to go that route.”
Chester and Platte-Geddes will get the day started at the Corn Palace when the two teams meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Hanson and No. 9 James Valley Christian will follow at 10:30 a.m. before the DWU women’s game is played at noon and the DWU men’s game is played at 2 p.m.
High school play resumes at 3:30 p.m. when McCook Central/Montrose takes on No. 3 Madison in a Class A matchup. Class B No. 3 Mitchell Christian will play No. 5 Sully Buttes at 5 p.m. and No. 2 Corsica/Stickney will take on No. 8 Langford at 6:30 p.m. Class A No. 2 St. Thomas More will meet Ellsworth (Minn.) at 8 p.m. and Class A No. 4 Red Cloud will face No. 1 Sioux Falls Christian at 9:30 p.m.
In what Bridge described as a big compliment to the Classic, five of the teams that will be playing had conflicting games scheduled for Saturday, but chose to reschedule those games in order to remain in the Classic. Now, the only challenge that remains is trying to find enough officials to work eight games Saturday.
“A lot of (officials) already have contracted games for that night or sometime during the day,” Bridge said. “It’s just a lot more work than people probably imagined. Doing it once is a lot of work, but turning around and doing it a second time is even more difficult.”