The Big 8 Conference enters its 45th season with tonight (Thursday) as the official opening night. St. Andrew’s – Sewanee traveled to North Elementary Tuesday night for a doubleheader that opened the season. However, there are four games tonight to usher in another year of elementary school basketball that has always been an integral part of this county since its inception.
The Big 8 was formed in 1972 – 1973, when Swiss Memorial Elementary School fielded their first team after opening their school in the spring of the previous year. Prior to the formation of the Big 8, the league was known as the Mountain Top Elementary Standings. Plainview Elementary School was an original member of the Big 8.
Tonight’s games are North Elementary School at Pelham Elementary School; Coalmont Elementary School at Palmer Elementary School; Swiss Memorial Elementary School at Monteagle Elementary School; and St. Andrew’s – Sewanee Middle School at Tracy City Elementary School.
The NES Lady Warriors are the defending Big 8 Conference and tournament champions as they went undefeated. The Wildcats of SMES repeated the same feat on the boys’ side.
Girls’ game times are 6 p.m., with the boys’ game beginning approximately ten minutes after the conclusion of the girls games.
I have been fortunate to be involved in this league in some form since that inaugural season. It was my eighth grade year and I played at Coalmont School. I have enjoyed being a player, coach, official, and administrator in this league, as well as a fan. As I said earlier, this is a very important part of this county and I have watched how passionate that we all can be when it comes to our local basketball. However, I urge everyone to remember, these games are for the young men and women of our schools to get a chance to compete and enjoy the game of basketball. The key word being “young.” Everyone has a job to do and everyone will make mistakes. Please, keep this in mind and respect all players, coaches, administrators, security officers, and officials as they try to do their jobs.
Updated standings, game captions, and box scores will be published each week throughout the season. Best of luck to all the teams as they compete during the 2016 – 2017 season!