It won’t be your average rivalry game when the Indian River High School and Sussex Central High School basketball teams tip off on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Not only will the night feature a double-header, with both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams facing each other; not only will there be history made, with the district’s first Unified basketball game for players with special needs in between; but the community is being encouraged to come support their hometown teams with half-time skills competition, contests, prizes, a special Blue-Gold All-Star presentation and even some live entertainment from IR’s competitive cheer team.
With all that going on, Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann and the IRHS Basketball Boosters are aiming to make Indian River High School the place to be next Thursday night.
“We’ve made some changes to basketball games this year. Both teams are having successful years. We’d really like to build our fan base back up,” Fuhrmann said. “We want the people in the community to come out and enjoy some great games and a great night.”
The night will get under way at 5 p.m., with the girls’ game, with the rest of the night’s schedule being tentative and the Unified game to follow, before the start of the boys’ game at roughly 7:20 p.m. The Unified game is expected to begin around 6:30 p.m.
After adding Unified track-and-field element to the athletic program two years ago, Fuhrmann decided to try out a basketball game, after requests from IR senior Josh Timmons, who competes in a variety of Unified sports, ranging from River Soccer’s TOPSoccer program to Special Olympics bowling.
With Unified flag football also set to take off next fall, Fuhrmann is hoping that Thursday’s basketball game may spark some additional interest, throughout the district and beyond.
“This is our way of getting the ball rolling,” he explained. “My biggest thing is to have inclusion of all athletes. Anyone who wants to participate in a sport should have an opportunity to do so.”
During the halftimes of both the boys’ and girls’ games, fans will be selected to test their skills on the court for chances to win prizes, with added performances from the IR competition cheer team and a Blue-Gold ceremony held to honor IR senior football selection Zion Howard, field hockey ambassadors Lexi Haden, Maggie Ford and Sammi Whelen, and cheer ambassadors Chance Kaymin and Rachel Burke.
Tickets for the game cost $5, will the proceeds going toward the Indian River High School basketball programs.
Indian River High School is located at 29772 Armory Road in Dagsboro. For more information, contact Todd Fuhrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.