QHS basketball parent says girls team is being short-changed

DADE

Basketball parent Mike Dade speaks to the Quincy School Board Wednesday night about what he called a lack of support for the girls basketball team. - J. Robert Gough

QUINCY— Mike Dade said he just wants his daughter to have the same high school basketball experience that his son had.

Dade spoke at Wednesday night’s Quincy School Board meeting and said the district “doesn’t support the (Quincy High School) girls basketball program as it should.”

“A reasonable effort to address this problem would begin with fair use of the historic Baldwin gym,” Dade said. “Give your girls the opportunity and ability to increase the program’s revenue generating potential during the season by allowing them to perform in a facility that is better suited for hosting games. It’s difficult to imagine a boy’s home game without the band and cheerleaders, but the girls program rarely sees either group in attendance. This is another program dynamic that severely limits the ability to generate revenue, as spectators also come to support band members and cheerleaders. However, these two student groups are far more valuable than tickets and popcorn sales.”

QHS girls basketball coach Brad Dance talks to junior center Taylor Fohey during a game.

Dade’s son, Michael, played for the boys basketball team and graduated from QHS in 2016. His daughter, Leila, is a junior on this year’s girls Blue Devil squad. The girls play in the much smaller gym located at the high school. In the past, they have played some games at Blue Devil Gym at Baldwin School, usually with the upper decks behind closed curtains as the larger seating capacity was rarely needed.

“They (the QHS girls) won’t get the watch themselves advertised in slow motion on large monitors in the gym,” Dade said. “My daughter will never get to high five the beloved mascot with the burning pitchfork when her name is being called in the starting lineup. With each passing game, we prove to our girls that they’re not as important.”

Dade then asked the School Board to “fix this embarrassment sooner, rather than later”.

Todd Pettit, superintendent for Quincy Public Schools, said the girls team prefers playing in the smaller gym, but they will play their game against Quincy Notre Dame at Blue Devil Gym on Jan. 31.

“Over the last few years, our school board has upgraded the high school gym, ladies’ locker room and weight training facilities for our girls’ basketball program,” Pettit said. “Girls basketball coaches and athletes consider QHS gym their home court and prefer to compete in that venue because of the home court advantage and the smaller setting that accommodates the team’s fan base.

“We strive to give all of our student-athletes the best experience and facilities to achieve their personal excellence in the classroom and in athletic competitions. As such, we continue to consider opportunities to upgrade facilities to meet the needs of our student-athletes and coaches.”

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