Sparks, which was hosting its third annual Rail City Classic boys basketball tournament was forced to scrap the final two days of the event. That meant out-of-area teams Placer, of Auburn Calif., Escalon, of Stockton, and Elko lost two games on their schedules. They also had to travel home prematurely and possibly under worse road conditions than if they had left at the conclusion of the event Saturday.
“I think it makes it tough on the California teams,” Sparks High athletic director Rob Kittrell said. “Maybe they won't want to come back next year.”
Kittrell said Sparks will likely have to refund two thirds of each tourney team's entry fee. The tournament also works as a fundraiser for the Railroaders boys hoop team, so the local school lost out on revenues there as well.
Both Sparks and Spanish Springs had wrestling teams prepared to travel to Winnemucca today for a tournament at Lowry High School. The teams were forced to stay home.
The Reno High boys hoop program was hosting its annual Wild West Shootout, which benefits an autism charity. The final two days of that event too were nixed.
Kittrell said the district's decision to call off out of district travel was a sound one, stressing student-athlete safety is the top priority. However, he also admitted that in the case of the in-town tournaments, which also bring in out-of-area teams, those decisions could be better served in a case-by-case basis.
“Everybody on our teams walks to school,” Kittrell said. “And then with the two tournaments, ours and Reno's, you get the out-of-town team factor. It's kind of disappointing.”
Spanish Springs had freshmen and JV boys basketball games scheduled at Galena Friday, but those were canceled as well.
The only local prep athletes who could compete this weekend were wrestlers at the nationally acclaimed Tournament of champions, which is hosted at the Reno Livestock Events Center. That event is not sanctioned by the Washoe County School District and the district does not provide busing for it.