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