PANAMA CITY, FL (WJHG/WECP) Local college hoops fans get the chance to see the Gulf Coast teams suit up and host games for the first time this season come Tuesday.
Both Roonie Scovel's women's team and Jay Powell's men's team will be hosting their counterparts from LB Wallace Tuesday.
Coach Scovel's squad heads into its home opener with a 4-1 mark, starting the season with three wins playing on Northwest Florida's floor. They then split two games in Indiana the weekend before last.
Not to bad considering what this team has been through, the death of a teammate and then the storm and it's aftermath!
"This last 6 to 8 weeks seems like, what else?" coach Scovel told me Monday afternoon. "You don't even say that because is like something else gonna happen. But to be back in our gym to play a game, and again in our venue, it's just a good feeling. And hopefully we'll put on a good show and play well and play hard. It's time, it's time for us to play in the Gulf Coast facility."
That despite the fact much of the campus surrounding the Harrison Field House is a work in progress. Even the Field House itself is under repair in a big way, with the coaches still out of their offices, and things like that. The floor that bears Roonie Scovel's name is good to go, and coach says that's enough!
"You know there have been a lot of glitches, and a lot of frustrating days." Roonie says. "A lot of irritated people, coaches, players, everybody. So we're trying to survive the moment, take one day at a time. I think tomorrow night is gonna be a good night. People are looking forward to this, of couse it's a GC Strong event, to show the Panhandle and our campus that you know, we've just been surviving this thing. And it's not gonna be a quick fix, it's gonna be a long haul. We're all staying patient. So hopefully tomorrow night the Gulf Coast Commodores can kind of give back to the community."
Coach Scovel admits the after effects of the storm have had hurt her team in some ways, especially given how she felt about this young squad following a jamboree in early October, which she says made her feel rather optimistic about the team coming together.
"And then all of a sudden we were away for two weeks. And then when we come back we're traveling two hours a day round trip to go practice at high schools. And thankfully we could do that. And then it seemed like we got a little divided. Just the way we had to practice and the things we had to do. We lost some of that togetherness and some of that unity. And we've been fighting to get it back, you know, it's been quite the challenge. But they keep hanging in there. And at some point good things are gonna happen, and maybe we can build on that."
The women tip off at 5. Jay Powell and his men's team, 6-3 after 9 road games, go at 7.