(This review has been updated since initial post – cheerleaders are in full force at boys games.)
There’s no way to sugar coat this. The gym at Kickapoo High School is uncomfortable and ugly. Thank goodness the Chiefs have delivered on the court. All of the renovation dough (rightfully) went to other areas of the school, something’s got to give. The halls are filled with trophy cases and memorabilia and restrooms are close. From either side of the floor only one scoreboard is visible, the other is hiding behind the backboard. The student section is always full and a little rowdy – expect to hear a herd of Wookies while the opposing team shoots free throws. The only thing that doesn’t need sprucing is the mass of banners hanging from the walls. Otherwise, it’s pretty disappointing that one of the city’s finest basketball traditions has such a crappy place to watch a game.
It’s maybe the best parking situation for a high school game. There’s a lot of it and it’s plenty close.
All wood bleachers, all the time. Despite their age, they have no give whatsoever. There’s not a comfy spot in the house. The benches are directly in front of the first row, Unless you find a seat on the back wall where the view isn’t too great, there isn’t a backed seat off the floor.
There’s not a whole lot of bump to the tunes, but it’s adequate for the space and the PA is nice and clear.
Court paint: D+
Yes, the Kickapoo colors are brown and gold, but the entire floor is covered in a shade of doo-doo offset by a dull yellow. The lanes and boundaries are all filled with brown. “KHS” is printed at the free throw lines with “KICKAPOO CHIEFS” at each baseline. At center court is a far outdated logo of the Chief in full head dress.
Star Spangled Banner: B+
A Kickapoo senior duet performed a straightforward (mostly unison) rendition of the national anthem. Not particularly moving, but thrilled that it wasn’t a recording.
They try to trick you. They offer snacks and goodies you can’t find at a concessions stand anywhere else in the city. Hot Pockets, corn dogs, Orange Fanta, Chex Mix and White Castle cheeseburgers couldn’t distract me from the glaring hole on the menu. The most important item of any basketball snack stand is far and away the nachos. The great pricing (nothing is more than $2) and creativity keeps the grade reasonable.
This grade was adjusted from an F after there was a large squad for a boys game – good enough to pass, but they missed enough classes for it to reflect. The KHS cheerleading sponsor told us they don’t have enough numbers for both boys and girls games. It’s almost even more discouraging to me that a school the size of Kickapoo, with as many spirited fans as they have who attend every game, can’t get enough bodies to form a squad for the girls games.