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The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

FWCD Co-Hosts Fall SPC Tournament

Duschene+plays+Awty+International+school+in+the+first+round+of+the+SPC+volleyball+tournament.
Reagan Hall
Duschene plays Awty International school in the first round of the SPC volleyball tournament.

More work and preparation goes into hosting a major state tournament than many people would think. It includes providing space for game officials to eat and relax, an athletic director room, many, MANY signs, clean facilities, and a whole lot more. After a successful spring of hosting the Southwest Preparatory Conference tournament (SPC), FWCD, Trinity Valley, and Oakridge got the opportunity to host again this fall on November 2-5. 

SPC is one big conference with two “districts.” North Zone consists of FWCD, Trinity Valley (TVS), Oakridge, Hockaday, Greenhill, Episcopal of Dallas, Cistercian, St Marks, Holland Hall (field hockey), and Casady (field hockey and boys volleyball); South Zone consists of Duchesne, Episcopal High School, St Johns, St Andrews, St Stephens, Kinkaid, Houston Christian, John Cooper, and Awty International School. Within the two districts, there are three regions. Hockaday, Greenhill, Episcopal of Dallas, Cistercian, and St Marks are all in Dallas, FWCD, TVS, and Oakridge are in Fort Worth, the South Zone schools are all in Houston and Austin, and Casady and Holland Hall are in Oklahoma City. 

To make it fair, the three regions rotate the hosting of championships with the three athletic seasons, so in the 2022-23 school year, fall sports were in Houston, winter sports in Dallas, and spring sports in Fort Worth. This year, the 2023-24 school year, fall sports are in Fort Worth, winter sports in Houston, and spring sports in Dallas. This rotation makes sure that every season a different team has a chance to have a “homecourt advantage” of some sort. The only schools that never host are Holland Hall and Casady because they are in Oklahoma. 

Before the school prepared the fields and the courts, they had to assess what the tournament was going to interfere with, how much space they needed, and how many teachers and adults would they need to help with various jobs. 

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FWCD hosted field hockey because we had the best facilities in Fort Worth. After getting our new state-of-the-art field hockey field last summer, head field hockey coach Paige Chisholm was really excited to show it off to the South Zone schools that hadn’t seen it yet. 

“It was the big debut of the new field, and we wanted a good reflection on the school. After the tournament, I got lots of positive feedback for our amazing facilities, and coaches were asking me where we got a lot of our equipment as well,” Chisholm said. 

Because Chisholm is a coach, she did not have to do anything to prepare, but she did want to help a little. The Site Director for field hockey was the Director of Physical Education, Shelley Rains. 

“I just had to make sure everything was working, the officials needed to be taken care of and so did the teams,” Rains said. “I had to direct other teams to where they needed to warm up and make sure they had waters. The big bracket you see on the fence, I had to keep that updated. Thankfully I had a lot of help from other coaches, and ultimately, I learned a lot about field hockey.” 

We also hosted girl’s volleyball, and the Site Director was Baseball Director Michael Settle. He, like Rains, was in charge of setting up the gyms with scoretables, nets, concessions, and music. Settle also had to supervise the teachers and faculty that were working the scoreboard, book, and music during the games. It’s safe to say he got his good share of volleyball that weekend. 

Leigh Block, Athletic Director, agreed with what Rains and Settle both said: the hardest part of hosting is finding enough volunteers. This tournament requires well over one-hundred people to work at the tables, concessions, give directions, etc. Because we hosted SPC in the spring, this fall made it back-to-back seasons we had to host. Contrary to what you may think, this was not too problematic; all Block had to do was continue finding volunteers post-football season.

“Home football games are awesome, but staffing for them can get tricky. Staffing for six home football games, including three in the last four weeks of the season, and then immediately staffing for the SPC tournament was challenging,” Block said.

Block explained that he likes playing in different places, but it can get difficult to host different seasons from year to year. It may be easier if each city hosted the tournament the same season each year. For example, Fort Worth always hosts fall, Houston hosts winter, and Dallas hosts spring. 

“I also think that sports that have unique site challenges should always be in the same location: tennis in Dallas and lacrosse and golf in Austin. The more consistent, the better,” Block said. 

One point of view that Block has that is different from most coaches here is that he has worked at schools in other states. In Georgia, he ran into the problem of the sports seasons overlapping each other. Tennis starts the first week of January at his old school, and kids that played basketball would miss seven weeks of tennis. With SPC seasons being shorter and not overlapping, student-athletes can play multiple sports and build all the athletic programs.

However, having coached in the playoffs in other states, it’s great to have time between playoff games to prepare. In other associations, you might have an opening round playoff game on a Thursday and then not play the next round until the following Tuesday or Wednesday. That gives you time to rest, prepare, watch game tape, etc. I think the quality of the games is better when everyone has time to prepare,” Block said.

FWCD won’t host SPC championships again until the 2024-25 winter season.

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About the Contributor
Reagan Hall, Reporter
Hi I’m Reagan, and I have been at FWCD since Kindergarten. Now I am a senior at the ripe age of 17. I have been in journalism for two years, and I love the people in it and my teacher, Mrs. Wallace. My sports are volleyball, basketball, and softball, but softball with always be my favorite. I love to dress out in blue because it’s my favorite color, but I will tolerate purple and gold for LSU, my dream college. 
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