Overlapping seasons a fine problem for Placer A.D.

By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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For Placer High athletic director Mark Lee, this is a most hectic time of the year. He is busy organizing for Placer’s upcoming Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal playoff football game against Sonora Friday evening, and he is preparing his varsity basketball team for the beginning of their season this week. Christmas shopping for his wife Kristine and their four children, ages 6-12, is a low, low priority for Lee. It’s not that Christmas isn’t important; it’s just that there are not enough hours in the day to find time to hit the stores. Preparation for Friday’s game began the moment Placer beat Calaveras and Sonora upset Lincoln last week. Lee confirmed with Bob Burge and Tom Rossitto, PA announcer and timer, respectively, that they could work the semifinal contest. Saturday morning Lee was recruiting the chain gang and ticket takers for the three gates that will be open for the public. Monday morning begins a series of meetings that will last throughout the week. Game security must be confirmed. Custodians and groundsmen for the game must be confirmed. The chain gang crew must be confirmed. Ticket takers must be confirmed. Arrangements, including guest lists, locker room assignments, press box, pre-game warm-ups, and camera placement, with visiting Sonora must be confirmed. Coordinating with Placer administrators and secretaries, including Riki Uhl and Teri Bequette must be confirmed. Meetings with CIF officials must be confirmed. Coach Lee was quick to point out the help he receives from so many parents and volunteers. “These people come out to help and sacrifice time away from their families to help make sure the game goes off as scheduled,” Lee said. “Todd Peek, football booster president, organizes the playoff program and was the main organizer of the tarps being placed and removed from the field. He had help from Jim Gray, Aaron Rubio, and Will Nesbut. Jaimie and Chris Waller work many hours behind the scenes shopping and stocking the snack bar. “It is a privilege to host a playoff game, whether it is during a holiday or a regular school week,” Lee added. “It is a great problem to have. I hope that every year I have to spend time during the holidays in order to prepare for a home football playoff game and get ready for a busy basketball season.” Lee relies on his Placer connections when he needs help in a hurry. Many of the head coaches of other sports offered their time for the Thanksgiving-week game against. Calaveras. “Our coaches from other sports usually work our ticket gates and are always willing to pitch in to help out when asked,” he said. When not overseeing the preparations for the playoff game, Lee is busy preparing his 2009-2010 basketball team for the upcoming season. On Monday, Placer traveled to Roseville and beat the Tigers, 59-30, in a Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Game. Ironically, for all the preparation Lee puts into the game this Friday, he will not be in attendance. He will be coaching his team in Redding in the Harlan Carter Basketball Tournament. Perhaps, in between games, he can find a local mall and do some quick Christmas shopping.