LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Every year in late January, or early February, basketball fans by the thousands flock to McBrayer Arena in Richmond to watch the All ‘A’ state basketball tournament. This year, however, due to Covid and now the icy conditions the stands won’t be packed.
“Thirty two teams, the girls and the boys, don’t get to participate and it really bothers me,” says the All “A” Director of officials Ancie Casey. “But you know we’ve got to listen to the state recommendations and the Kentucky State Police and we weighed all that before making final decisions.”
Some of the teams, like Walton-Verona, made the trip to Richmond on Sunday or Monday so they, along with others who showed up early, did get to play one game but it is a bittersweet situation.
“I can’t overstate how much pride our kids in our community take in participating in this tournament every year,” says Superintendent of Walton-Verona schools Matt Baker. “This is a big event for us. This tournament gives smaller schools in Kentucky something to play for.”
Buses showed up and the drivers dropped off the student-athletes for the games which were held, but even the drivers are wondering about the immediate future.
Robby Ratliff, a bus driver for Walton-Verona, summed it up perfectly. “It has been one of school after another and I think as far as me the rest the coaches no staff bus drivers teachers I need the kids are all wondering what’s next.”
It’s a good question. What is next? I guess the next step is just to make it home safely before the next winter storm hits on Thursday.