Sports Editor’s Playbook, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011

Patrick Newell

One has to envision continued success for Norwich basketball – the boys and girls – for at least the next two to three years if not well beyond that. While Norwich’s varsity team was sewing up its third straight Pennysaver girls title this past Saturday night, the junior varsity improved to 4-0 on the season. All four wins have come by double digits, and the JV club does not have a sophomore on its roster. In fact, two eighth-graders start, and two seventh-graders see plenty of minutes as well. As for the varsity team, it starts one sophomore, and has two other sophomores in the playing rotation. Over on the boys’ side, head coach Tom Collier kept three sophomores on his varsity club, and all three are in the prime playing rotation. Meanwhile, the boys’ JV team, coached by Phil Curley, counts two freshmen among its top three scorers. Just like the girls, the Tornado’s junior club is unbeaten and has four straight victories by double-digit points.

Unless you have missed your lunch or dinner, making a visit to the concession stand before the game or halftime is an impulse purchase. It’s akin to that must-have item while waiting in the grocery store line. Ever had a sudden need for Carmex? Hey, It’s winter, the season of dry lips. Anyway, my point is that we all have succumbed to that urgent need to purchase something we really don’t need. Now that we’re in my busiest season of games, I consequently attend more games than the fall and spring seasons. I also make far more trips to the concession line to feed my face with Skittles and Tootsie Pops. My itinerary has me in every corner of Chenango County, but my most frequent stop is at Norwich High School. Of the 15 to 20 varsity basketball games played at Norwich each year, I may miss one or two games, and most of the time, I make my concession purchases before the start of the varsity game. After dispensing with some loose change and a couple of dollar bills this season, I have decided I prefer the girls’ stand. Why would I prefer one over the other when each concession stand offers nearly the exact same items? Lower prices. Yes, the profits of the concession stand benefit the basketball program. And yes, I understand there must be some sort of mark-up on the actual price. Still, I am a consumer, and who wouldn’t want the same item for less money? Too, I am bit perplexed by the three-for-a-dollar Tootsie Pop price at the boys’ concession station. I don’t know about you, but I do not purchase my lollipops in bulk – unless my kids are in tow. One or two will suffice, so when I bought “just” one the other night, I chuckled to myself when the volunteer accepting my money said, “33 cents.” I dug through my pockets searching for extra pennies to get the right change. Fortunately, I was the only one in line, and expediency in completing the transaction was not a problem. I plopped my quarter, nickel, and three pennies down on the counter, and headed to my seat. In this case, the transaction time was fairly quick. I do consider it my rite of passage at a store to make the correct change for any type of purchase. I almost always have multiple pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in my pocket. Still, not everyone carries a weighty jingle in their jeans due to excessive change hording. Most people head to the concession stand – especially kids – with their dollar bills and perhaps a quarter or two. Get in, get out, that is the objective in any concession stand purchase. I do get satisfaction making the right change, but I take umbrage when finding the correct change cuts into my Skittles consumption time.

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