Jason Bowen

Section girls basketball coach Stormy Stevens did not want to wait any longer.

Knowing a coin flip between Section and Fyffe would decide where the Class 2A Girls Area 15 Tournament was played, Stevens requested they flip the coin as soon as he arrived at the area tournament bracket drawing on Tuesday.

“As soon as I got there, I just wanted to know where it’d be and who I’d play,” he said. 

Stevens let Fyffe coach Steve King call the coin flip. King called tails — tails it was. 

That was a theme around the county on Tuesday. In all, four Jackson County teams were involved coin flips regarding area seedings and/or hosting rights. Incredibly, all four of those teams — the Section and NSM girls and the Skyline and NSM boys — lost their coin flip.

Even more mind blowing are these two notes: the coin flip caller was 4-0, and tails was the winning call in all four coin flips.

NSM girls head coach Tracy Vest fortunately didn’t have much riding on his coin flip — the difference between wearing the home or visiting jerseys — with Plainview, as they were flipping for the Class 3A Area 14 Tournament’s No. 2. The teams were already going to play one another. But Vest has been involved in coin flips before, and he says coaches have to simply let “fate take control. You like to control your own destiny, but sometimes you don’t.”

That’s the worst part of the coin flip for coaches, who love to control as much as they can. But in a coin flip, they’re helpless, left to the mercy of that coin flipping over and over in the air. It’s a cruel way to determine one’s fate, but, as Vest said, coaches just have to accept the outcome as meant to be.

Such was the case for Skyline’s boys. Tied with Cedar Bluff for hosting duties in 1A Area 14, Cedar Bluff coach Joe Carpenter made the winning call of tails. Skyline assistant T.J. Perry said Skyline’s players wanted head coach Ronnie McCarver to call “heads” if he made the call. With it being tails, there’s at least no regret to not calling it. 

“We’d have lost it either way, so you can’t feel too bad about it,” Perry said. 

In the end, the coin flip is an “all in” proposition. “It’s just luck,” Vest said. 

Hopefully local teams’ luck will be better in coin flips next season.


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