Thursday Night Lights for TCAL

The Veteran’s Day holiday has created a quagmire in the Tri
County Athletic League, causing the Live Oak, Gilroy, San Benito
and Palma High School football teams to reschedule their games amid
concerns of obtaining adequate staffing for the events.
By Leann Shea

The Veteran’s Day holiday has created a quagmire in the Tri County Athletic League, causing the Live Oak, Gilroy, San Benito and Palma High School football teams to reschedule their games amid concerns of obtaining adequate staffing for the events.

Live Oak (4-5, 2-2) hosts rival Gilroy (5-4, 2-2) and San Benito (4-5, 2-2) faces Palma (8-1, 4-0) at home at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, instead of Friday.

“Friday’s a holiday and we rely on our teachers to come out, so we had to change it to Thursday. It’s just a matter of supervision, getting enough people to take tickets and operate the chains,” said Tod Thatcher, San Benito’s athletic director.

Prior to the season getting under way, San Benito and Palma anticipated the staffing issues and decided to reschedule the game.

The TCAL bylaws say that the

original schedule shall be followed unless both schools get together and decide to make a change.

According to Gilroy’s Athletic Director, Jack Daley, Live Oak requested the schedule change about a month ago because of growing concern over the safety of having a football game on a day when school is out and the ability to efficiently staff the event, especially in light of the gang activity popping up in both communities and the competitive rivalry between Live Oak and Gilroy.

“Live Oak asked if we would be willing to change the game based on concerns of safety and of course we were. It all revolves around the safety and ultimately we have to have the right security,” said Daley. “It makes it a little harder to prepare for the game, but it is the same for both schools. “

Live Oak coach Rick Booth was unaware of any safety issues but said the request for the schedule change came because it is difficult to get teachers to supervise on a holiday and the administration can’t require them to do so.

The schools’ briefly discussed moving the game to Saturday, but that didn’t seem like a very good option for the final league match up and with Winter sports getting under way.

“The short week leaves us one less day for healing and preparations, but we’re both in the same boat,” said Booth. “In years past we always played on Thursday during Veteran’s Day week, but this year the game was scheduled on Friday. When you have a rivalry like this you can throw out the records and know each team is going to be ready to play.”

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