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by Lisa M. Sheldon, Guest Writer

Heading into December, we get ready to enjoy winter sports-- and for our family that means basketball. I know this is hard core wrestling country, but basketball rules our household from November through March. Unfortunately, youth basketball has not gotten much attention for some time now. That is all about to change.

Through the WVU Extension Service’s 4-H program, Curt Garretson has been developing a youth basketball program over the last two years with modest success. Volunteers, timing, location and promotion have all been challenges, as they are with any new endeavor. This year, with help from Garretson’s friends and fellow coaches, he is looking for a more robust season for the young basketball hopefuls. Garretson is also the assistant coach for the CHS varsity girls basketball team and has coached middle school football in the past.

As with the youth wrestling and football programs, both of which have thrived due to the backing of coaches and supporters at the varsity level, the next generation of Calhoun basketball coaches is ready to step up and take a role in assisting in the development and continuation of a youth basketball program.

Danny Bunch, varsity boys head coach, and Zac Hupp, his assistant, both in their third year, are working with Garretson and other coaches in the county to develop a sustainable youth basketball program that will begin in January. The program will be for boys and girls in grades three through six.

“We want the youth season to run with the varsity season, so that not only are the young players practicing and playing at the same time as the varsity athletes, but so that the youth players can come out and watch these talented varsity ball players and see what they can do one day if they keep working hard,” said Bunch.

“We are planning to sponsor youth nights at a couple of home games where the youth players will be able to get in for free and have special seating where they can watch what the varsity players can do. They can have fun and learn at the same time,” said Hupp.

Along with the regular youth league season, there are also plans in motion for a summer camp for kindergarten and up, which will help the players work on their basic basketball skills. The dates for the summer camp have not been set, but like the sign up dates, season schedule and other youth events, keep your eye on the Chronicle for information.

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Publisher Helen Morris is now recuperating from knee surgery with her children, and is doing very well.


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